Camping and running!

One of the things we most love about California is camping here. We loved camping in the UK but it’s very different. In the UK, camping marks you out as tough. Hardened. Badass. (Not that anyone in the UK says badass, it’s just one of my favourite US words). Primarily because camping in the UK will doubtlessly involve being cold and wet. Whereas here? Camping involves basking in the great outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and the fresh air. It’s not badass but it’s amazing.

Camping in the UK.
So much fun, sometimes.

This weekend, we went with a big bunch of friends up to the Sierra Foothills to Coloma, just outside Placerville. We went primarily so that some of the group could go white water rafting on Saturday. I didn’t raft. I don’t want to drown. So I nobly offered to join my heavily pregnant friend Jenny (who is due in three weeks) in looking after two toddlers and two dogs. I’m so selfless!

We got there late, so Friday night involved a campfire, margaritas and two little boys dashing about on bikes.

On Saturday, with our big boys and one brave girl rafting, Jen, the little boys and the dogs went down to a local beach so everyone could paddle in the American River. It was hot and fab. In the afternoon we all napped in the sweltering heat, and then in the evening, with everyone back safe and sound, we grilled marinated steak, drank wine and made s’mores.


I was up with the birds on Sunday morning, I fuelled on flapjack and was running at 6am. I had planned a route out on mapmyrun but realized that it was ALL uphill so I quickly plotted a slightly flatter one. The iPhone was out of juice so I had to use my old watch to time today’s run. It was a cool, overcast morning – perfect!  I ran about two miles uphill as part of the route, paced myself calmly up and then was quite staggered at how steep it was when I was running down. Quite an ego boost. It was a lovely run.  In the end I did about 9 miles in about 1.44 (roughly 11 min mile pace). That feels a little slow but nothing has been accurately measured so I’ll survive!!

The American river in the morning!
Sutter Mill, where the first nugget of gold was discovered that sparked the 1849 gold rush

When I got back, everyone was just waking up so the Husband and I cooked a big fry-up of sausages, bacon and scrambled egg and then we took the tents down and headed to a local winery to do some morning wine-tasting in the sunshine. And then we sadly headed home!

Wine and beer tasting!

A wonderful sunshiny weekend was made even better when we got home and got to watch two days worth of Tour de France!! The good news is that Brad Wiggins is in second place….we are very happy!

So what did you do whilst we were under canvas? And some honest feedback about whether or not that orange top suits me? I can take it.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Fiona Bailey says:

    Camping looks a lot drier and warmer than back here in the UK. Love the pics, not jealous at all xx

    1. Cathryn says:

      It is a world different!! I miss the sound of rain on tents at night…but nothing else 😉

  2. Helen Dowson says:

    I was camping too last weekend :-). 5 of us with our folding bikes headed down to the Peak District, cycled up some steep hills than pootled along the Monsal Trail. We managed to dodge most of the rain but I wish we’d had your weather!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Sounds wonderful – I wish I’d been cycling as well. The Peaks are amazing for cycling!

  3. Rachel Thompson says:

    Hi Cat, anything with a fluffy hood is good, you look fine – fine as in mighty fine, not fine as in middling to ok! Coloma looks a fantastic place to camp and sounds like no camping trip I’ve ever been on (with the absence of sun and margaritas being a key factors where I’m falling down), the scenery looks great. Staithes in February was my last camp, on a hill in a gale. On the grounds the tent wouldn’t stay pegged down we retreated to a B&B on the 2nd night, turned out to be run by Dick Emery’s son, which made us chortle.

    While you were under canvas me and him went to see The Stone Roses at Heaton Park in Manchester, with 70,000 others, an amazing gig, took us back in time. I’d lost my voice on the Friday so I did my best to belt out ‘adoooored’ but not much came out (laryngitis apparently). Got back very late so Sunday was a recharge, a stroll round the big lake at Roundhay and visit to the Lakeside Cafe (flat white and chunk of date slice for Andy and big cuppa assam for me). The baby coots, moorhens and cygnets are out, so cute! Some sun but jumper and coat needed, I demand a summer! Finished off watching Spain v Italy and an episode of Frasier (a Sunday night stalwart).

    Love to team Ramsden
    Rachel x

  4. Cathryn says:

    Hey, thanks for your lovely note Rachel!!! The Husband and I think you guys should come over and visit and we’ll take you camping, sunshine and margaritas will be provided free of charge!! The Stone Roses looked amazing on FB…and I miss the Roundhay Lakeside Cafe, their muesli slices were amazing!!! Your weekend sounds wonderful, you guys packed it full. Come and see us!! xxx

  5. Liz Cairns says:

    Well sounds like you had a great time. Anna and I camped Sat night in the garden- it rained!! We’re going to N Ireland camping in July and I’m already praying hard for sunshine – not too hopeful but it’ll be fun! Managed a run on Sat am did 9:34/mi pace no idea if that’s good but was quite pleased. Then yesterday got 3 hours uninterrupted tennis (Wimbledon’s on – yippeee) in lovely old country hotel with afternoon tea with my hubby – do you miss cream teas? Keeep up the blogs I love them xxx

    1. Cathryn says:

      I think 9.30 odd is brilliant, my normal runs are about that pace so clearly you and I are very speedy, and ready for London! And I know God can do all things but no rain in NI?? And yes, we do miss cream teas. We make our own but it’s not quite the same. xxx

  6. Whine Less says:

    Your camping looks so fun! I’m trying to decide if I want to brave a camping weekend with my daughters this summer or not…

    1. Cathryn says:

      I only have one so realize that’s easier but I would recommend it in principle. The Dude adores camping – we took him at 6 months, several times at 18 months and now this summer (2 1/2) and it’s always fun. The first night is always rough, being honest, but by the second night he’s so tired he sleeps through. And I love him being outside all the time with no computer/TV/iPad etc. Do it!! 😉

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