Channel Islands, California

Monday, December 16

This past weekend, Kevin and I met up with my three siblings and went backpacking on the Channel Islands. To be honest, even though Kevin and I are avid travelers of our native state of California, we knew extremely little about these mostly deserted islands off the coast of Ventura and Santa Barbara. 

My brother Peter, the mastermind behind this operation, is an awesome planner and backpacker! 
He booked a campsite on the island of Santa Cruz, and off we went on the ferry from Ventura to Scorpion Bay. 

Arriving in Scorpion Bay, we noted two things…
1) The sheer desolate beauty of the rugged cliffs, pristine waters, and desolate landscape. 
2) How few people actually were on the island! It felt amazing to be so far from "civilization" hehe!

By a stroke of luck (ie: God!) we were able to join up last minute with a sea kayaking group! 
This kayaking trip may have been one of the most amazing things i've ever done! 

We paddled through dozens of caves, the swells coming and going causing the adrenaline to pump heavy in the veins! 
We were surrounded by wildlife and stumbled upon a beach of harbor seals! 
We even got to experience a blowhole in one of the caves, that shot water out 20-30 feet! 
If you go to the Channel Islands, make sure you go sea kayaking:) 

After our adventure on the ocean, we headed for land and made up our campsite! 
We took a sunset hike up to Cavern point, just in time to see the sleepy sun setting below the cliffs! 
We huddled up on the face of the cliff, and sat in the magic moment. 

Back at camp, we ate dinner, then all cuddled up in our 2-person tent…it was extremely "cozy" with 5 people:) My sister and brother took turns reading Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol".
I felt so old school, I loved it:) 

And guys…side note, but I stayed SOOO warm all weekend! During the day, we had high 60's-low 70's weather! It was amazing! {and at night I covered my body in those hand warmer things, haha!! good times!} Thanks for praying! 

The next morning we spent the day hiking around! What gorgeous views to be had on this island! 

Coming back on the ferry, we witnessed something extremely special. 
The boat happened upon a feeding time,
and all of a sudden we were surrounded by 3 HUGE humpback whales, 
hundreds of seals and dolphins, 
and birds dive bombing into the water. 
I've never experienced something like this, so close to nature, it truly was holy! 

All in all, this was an incredible trip, and I felt so blessed to get to spend so much sweet time with my husband and my great brother and 2 sisters!! Love you guys!! 

Hope you had a sweet weekend! 
What did you do? 
love Katie 
{sibbies on the ferry!!}
{the crazy blow hole! that's Pete below getting drenched!}
{the adorable and curious harbor seals!}
 {my cutie sister Lena}
 {da boys!}
 {tired eyes! haha} 
 {my sis rocking her epic panda sweater!}
 { there were soo many foxes on the island! the minute we crawled into our tent at night, we heard them trying to dig into our food! My sister chased them away from the food box by shouting "HEY! hey you!" haha…we died laughing! 
but you have to admit, they are kinda cute!} 


  1. i'm coming with next time ; ) that kayaking trip looks like so much fun!

  2. This is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! If/when I visit CA this is something I would love to make time for. Im the oldest of 4 sibs. Also 2 sisters and 1 brother. This expedition is the kind of thing my parents used to make us do, days of kayaking and camping in the rain, but after living in the city for so long Im craving some of that adventure. It sounds breathtakingly beautiful! I did a little blog interview today and you were way up there in my recommended blogs. Thanks for sharing glory you beautiful woman <3

  3. That looks like such an awesome adventure!! And 5 people in that little tent?? Cozy indeed!!

  4. Your photography is just beautiful. It will be so amazing for you to look back on your adventures and have such great photos to look at :) Love it! x

  5. Can't get over these pictures! So gorgeous!!

  6. wow. so gorgeous! I have been sea kayaking off of Catalina and it was pretty incredible. glad you stayed warm :) that always makes everything much more enjoyable

  7. Incredible photos. I miss California so much, but your pictures definitely help! Looks like it was a great time!

  8. So fun! Glad you had such a great time. Did you take your DSLR with you on the kayak trip? If so, how did you keep it from getting wet?

  9. What an amazing trip! And love seeing your family through your eyes. :)

  10. Can we be part of your family? ;) Love Love Love! I was going to ask the same question as Beka. What camera are you using on this trip? I'm always terrified to bring my DSLR even to the beach lol Any recommendations?

    1. Hey girl! I just emailed Beka, but thought i'd put it here in case people were curious! I have a waterproof bag from a company called Feel Free! It's the best investment ever!! xxxoo Katie

  11. These pictures are amazing. I love ocean kayaking!

  12. It looks like you had a fantastic time! I love all of the photos! Gorgeous place!

  13. what an exciting experience Katie! the photos look stunning and it looks like you guys had a beautiful time.

  14. This trip looks amazing!!! I love the photos and you are beautiful lady :) I also love your blue jacket - where is it from? I am in need of one for when I head to Ireland in February :) xo

  15. Katie...these pictures are amazing!!! This looks like the kind of trip my husband and I would love to take. So much fun! So glad you stayed warm too. :)

  16. These pictures are wonderful!!! I'm glad you had such a great time!!! Looks like you and your siblings are so close! That's wonderful. :-)

  17. Wow, how beautiful! Can I come next time? :) I've been to Santa Cruz island once, just as a day trip and it was so lovely. I would love to go back for an overnight trip though!

  18. Wow it looks gorgeous there! Your photography is awesome

    This is Natalia from Elan Designs. I sent you an email from my google account with the attached logo. Could you reply to let me know you got it, because last time I emailed you with Google it didn't go through :)

  19. This makes my heart so happy :)

  20. Such an amazing adventure! So glad it worked out and you weren't cold! :)

  21. Such gorgeous pictures! How do you get such amazing clarity?!

  22. Oh my gosh!!!! These photos are beyond gorgeous!! The sun's rays peeking through in the corners illuminating the natural beauty! These are probably some of my favorite photos on your blog! So much joy in your expressions and just soooo much beauty everywhere!!!!
    I had a weekend trip as well! I blogged about my family trip to an adorable Bavarian town 5 hours north of Portland :)

  23. these pictures are amazing!! what a fun weekend with your sibs and you hubs. so glad yall had a great time! xox

  24. The photos are soooo gorgeous and I totally love the goofy ones! I'm sure you enjoyed every bit of your trip.

  25. Katie, these photos are perfection! I love that you were able to spend time with your hubby and siblings :) And I have to ask what type of camera do you use and what editing program?!?!

  26. too beautiful. WOW! XO

  27. I cannot believe that your sister actually chased the foxes. Seriously? They are cute but they are scary as well.

    Looks like you had an awesome time with the siblings and the hubby. By the way the photos are breathtaking and your brother has definitely planned the trip very well. Amazing location

  28. I couldnt be more jealous!! Looks absolutely AMAZING!!!!!

    I'm doing a giveaway on my blog, would love for you to get a chance to stop by and enter.

  29. Katie, can I please come adventure with you sometime? This looks incredible! I can see what you mean about a holy experience now. So amazing. Also, the shot of you guys kissing through your coat masks... adorable!

  30. Y'all are so cute! Looks like it was a blast! And so beautiful!!

  31. Oh my goodness! This is like a dream! So glad it was warm and nice weather for you all! And I'm loving that panda sweater :) haha!

    xo, gina

  32. gorgeous pics!! this sounds like my kind of trip. i love adventures like these :) getting to see humpback whales and dolphins?? so fun! glad you stayed warm, girl!

  33. wow!! this is so cool!!! that blow hole is crazily challenging!


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