Ranch & Coast Magazine

June 2022

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e cabin is the rustic version of a tiny home. Under peaked ceilings, we sleep in a comfy king bed at the end of a hallway. ere are narrow steps up to a sleeping loft and three kid-friendly mattresses. e bathroom's fully equipped with linens, towels, and a bath/shower. e kitchenette has a full-size fridge and freezer and a microwave oven. A propane-fueled heating stove separates the kitchen from the living room area. I get a kick out of the sign on the bottom of the living room door featuring a smiling cartoon fox and squirrel asking to "keep local wildlife outdoors...by closing cabin doors." A highlight of the trip is the campfire dinner my wife, Jules, and I cook in our personal firepit and devour on our picnic table. Canyon Market sells BBQ Kits, with entrée choices including hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, tri-tip, and salmon filets. e kits come in a huge burlap bag filled with the entrées, salad, veggies for grilling, garlic bread, and dessert. ey also supply plates, earth-friendly utensils, cooking cutlery, firewood, and a fire starter kit. We order the salmon. After the fire starts burning with consistency, we put the aluminum foil-wrapped salmon filets and veggies side-by-side on the grill. e result is a delectably moist, smoke-seasoned salmon dinner — a fish dish I can't imagine ever being topped in any citified restaurant. e BBQ Kit dessert is s'mores ingredients: graham crackers, Hershey bars, and marshmallows we brown to melty adhesive perfection and devour under a clear-sky view of a full moon and Orion's Belt. My belt, I have to loosen a notch. and the Santa Ynez Mountains. is mile-and-a-half-long canyon sits on 25 acres. Shaded by oak and sycamore trees, it's dotted by more than 100 cedar wood cabins and circular canvas yurts. Historically, it's been a popular spot. Roots trace back to it being an ancient Chumash Indian tribal celebration site. In the 19th century, the canyon was filled with Mexican adobes. e modern-day transformation to a refined, rural retreat began in 1970 and has continued for decades. Today, the glampground is adjacent to the Ocean Mesa RV Campground and surrounded by 2,500 acres of protected state parkland. From El Cap's visitor entrance booth, you can see the dark wood exterior of the Canyon Market general store. is is the site's beating heart — and the only source for food and necessities that you didn't drive in with. Weekend musical concerts are held outside Canyon Market. On our first night, we're treated to a steel drum-playing crooner. His renditions of Jimmy Buffet and Eagles songs — paired with a tasting of Santa Barbara Winery offerings — slow us down and set the pace for the next two days. Cabins and Grilled Salmon It's roughly a mile drive into the woods from Canyon Market to our cedar cabin. Our spot is the woodland equivalent of a cul-de-sac. We have one neighbor, but also a sense of privacy. e location comes with a prime view into an open-air, grassy expanse near a hilly trailhead. >> ranchandcoast.com @ranchandcoast RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE JUNE 2022 89 Llama Pasture and Organic Farm PHOTO COURTESY OF EL CAPITAN CANYON

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