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Campsite Photo Trip - 2013

Little Rascals

Our 2013 Campsite Photo Tour wraps up after 14,000 miles and over 160 campgrounds.

I do not mean these ones.

Little_Rascals

I mean certain animals that will bring their young ones around your campsite and steal your food while you are distracted.

Rat-1

That is momma raccoon stealing my lettuce while I was attempting to make tacos.

They fought over it.

Rat-2 Rat-3

But left after a stern talk.

Rat-5

No big deal as I had finally found some sprouts. Yes. I like sprouts on my tacos. And the lettuce was old anyway.

Tacos-3

So what is better than tacos for dinner? Nothing. But to follow it up with breakfast tacos is outstanding.

Tacos-4

This all took place at Big Basin Redwoods State Park near Santa Cruz.

Big-Basin-Sign

The first State Park in California, it opened in 1902.

Almost 190 sites and 1-41 have tent cabins, like number 9.

Big-Basin_009

I stayed in 48.

Big-Basin_048

Most of the sites are shaded. Well, there are big trees around here. Number 128 was nice.

Big-Basin_128

Lots of trails to explore.

Big-Basin-Trail-1 Big-Basin-Trail-2

Nearby is Little Basin.

Little-Basin-Sign-1

It used to be a regular campground but is now a group site. In fact, it is run by a private company.

Little-Basin-Sign-2

Looks like some kind of school thing.

Anyway, I also visited Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park while I was in the area.

Henry-Cowell-Sign

It is lower in elevation than Big Basin and the 113 campsites are surrounded by oak trees.

Henry-Cowell_065

That is number 65. The redwoods are located a few miles away. So if you want a sunnier and warmer campground stay here.

Wednesday morning I continued south, with a brief stop at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

After breakfast.

Tacos-1

Yeah.

Pfeiffer-Sign

This is a large place with 189 sites and some unusual security at the entrance.

Pfeiffer-Turkeys

There is a mixture of open and shaded spots. I liked number 98.

Pfeiffer_098

Actually I liked the trailer in number 98.

Some of the sites are along the Big Sur River. Notice the sign on the post in the photo below.

Pfeiffer_122

It says "River Site" and those will cost you $60 per night.

So I left and enjoyed the scenery of the coast. If you are only going to drive this section of Highway 1 in one direction, go North to South. The pullouts are on that side and you will be stopping often to check out the magnificent views.

Big-Sur

Near the town of San Simeon I stumbled upon a bunch of beach bums.

Seals-3

Hundreds of seals were catching some rays.

Seals-4

They only moved occasionally to flip some sand in the air.

Seals-2

Quite a few other people stopped to look at them.

Seal-Crowd

I ended up at Pismo Beach.

North-Beach-Sign

I set up camp in site number 2.

North-Beach_002

And made dinner.

Tacos-2

I have been on a taco binge lately...

The are two campgrounds at Pismo State Beach about 2 miles apart.

North Beach has 103 sites and some, like number 22, are just over a hill from the beach.

North-Beach_022

Which looks like this.

Pismo-Beach-2 Pismo-Beach-1

The dunes here are extremely popular for off road vehicles. There were a bunch of old Willy's at the campground. With the required necessities.

North-Beach-Jeep

Even the staff had some cool toys.

Pismo-Host-Cart

On Thursday I visited the other campground, Oceano.

Oceano-Sign

The 82 sites here are split up into two areas. Half have water and electrical hookups, like number 17.

Oceano_017

The other half have none. But some, like number 56, are next to the creek.

Oceano_056

Lot's of choices in this area. They are also several private campgrounds nearby.

Friday morning I headed south to Gaviota State Park. I had planned to stop at Jalama Beach but completely forgot. Brain cramp. Hey, I am getting old.

Gaviota-Sign

Most of the Southern California State Parks and Beaches have one thing in common. Trains.

And Gaviota was no exception.

Gaviota-Train

I didn't mind. In fact, I liked it. These are not freight trains, just passenger cars. Came through maybe a couple of times a day and the engineer would give us a toot.

There are only 39 sites here and they look like mine, number 35.

Gaviota_035

And number 17.

Gaviota_017

But the attraction here is the beach. A group of college students from Loyola-Marymount showed up in the afternoon.

Kids

Unfortunately for them they brought a couple of these things.

Keg

Which brought the cops who quickly booted them out. Which was sad. Because I was starting to feeling young again.

There is a pier here.

Gaviota-Pier

One of the interesting laws in California is that you do not need a fishing license to cast a line from man-made objects that extend into the ocean, like piers and jettys. So there were plenty of people hoping to hook up with a white sea bass or halibut.

Fishermen

There is also a good surf break. The waves were small but nicely formed, with an offshore breeze in the morning.

Wave-2 Wave-3

Tubular! A raccoon on a small board could get totally barreled.

My neighbors had fun chopping wood.

Ax-1 Ax-2

Meanwhile I was checking this out.

Bike-1

That would be fun. Zipping around campgrounds snapping photos. I tried it out.

Bike-2

Yes, that is me, but the owner would not give me the key. I offered to trade my bike for it. Didn't happen.

On Sunday I headed south for my last stop on this trip.

Carpinteria State Beach.

Carpenteria-Sign

When picking a good campsite there are several factors that enter in to your decision. Sun, shade, proximity to bathrooms and water spigots, privacy, those are just a few.

But sometimes the choice is obvious. Which is why I chose site number 19.

Wood-1

Yes, that was all left there just waiting for somebody. Me.

Which led to this.

Wood-2

A perfect way to enjoy my last night on a long trip.

Monday morning I walked the campground, after checking out the beach.

Carpenteria-Beach-2 Carpenteria-Beach-1

Carpinteria bills itself as having the world's safest beach. The Channel Islands block most of the swells so the waves are rarely more than ankle slappers. That makes it a very popular campground for families with kids.

There are 206 sites here but the numbers are misleading. They go from 1 to 146 and then 401 to 460. Go figure.

A couple of my favorites were number 128,

Carpinteria_128

And 448.

Carpinteria_448

California beach camping at it's best. Plus the town is within walking distance. A definite destination campground.

So that's it. Over 14,000 miles and over 160 campgrounds. What a long strange trip it's been.

My next and last blog for this year will be a trip wrap up but I need to mention now a disconcerting trend I have been noticing.

Blatant discrimination.

Yep, directed at certain people with certain last names.

My first name is Greg. My last name is Wood. And like many other campers I enjoy getting together with a large bunch of family members to enjoy the outdoors. Maybe get a group site or such. A gathering of the Wood clan.

But no, apparently that is not allowed. I saw this nasty sign in many campgrounds.

Wood-Sign

Simply unbelievable.

Regards, Park Ranger

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