I’m camped tonight at Leo Carrillo State Park between Santa Monica and Ventura. As I drove up the coast today, I passed through a myriad of places whose names I had only heard: La Jolla, Oceanside, San Clemente. Then came the beaches: Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Long Beach.
I stayed on the Hwy 1 and drove right by Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), a big refinery and the harbor docks. Then came Santa Monica and I crossed Sunset Boulevard. I wondered if it was THE Sunset Boulevard and, sure enough, when I checked my map a few minutes ago it does run right into Hollywood. If I had known that for sure at the time, I might have made that right turn and driven into make believe land! However, my intention all along had been to avoid LA on this trip and I’m sticking to plan. LA is worth a whole trip on its own at some point.
After Santa Monica I drove through Malibu and stopped there to pick up some groceries. You don’t really see much of Malibu when you drive through – the mansions are gated and hidden with vegetation and the beach houses sit side-by-side with only garages visible from the highway.
It is windy and cool here tonight although there are lots of hardy campers - mostly in tents and a good number of them have surf boards or kayaks with them. There were a group of tenters with a large Alumni Reunion sign so I moved to the other side of the park and found a spot between three families with young children. I'm sure they won't be partying all night!
This is the second time this week that I’ve stayed in a place with no radio or TV reception and no WiFi access. I’ll have to post this later.
Saturday, 3:10 pm
I’m now camped at Morro Bay about an hour from San Simeon. Today I drove mostly on highway 101 which goes along the coast and then inland for a bit. I passed through more of those familiar names: Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Pismo Beach. I stopped in Pismo Beach, a beautiful little beach town that also had an outlet mall. Sandra would be proud of me – I actually found a bargain: a lovely Izod hoody for $9.99 which I really did need! I’m about to head to the beach which is only a short walk from my campsite and it’s windy so the hoody will get its first test.
I just made reservations for two different tours of the Hearst Castle in San Simeon tomorrow. Life on the road goes on…