Camping on the Ocean

Camping the Big Sur Coast

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Diane & Janet at Rocky Point

Diane & Janet at Rocky Point

Last week I had a friend visit from Vermont. Her major goal was to escape the cold and the snow and visit me. Escaping the weather sounds like many of you that have been posting on the Roadtrek Facebook group lately. The nice thing about knowing Diane for over thirty years, is our friendship is so relaxed. We decided that we would wait until she arrived before we decided what to do with her time here.

At this time of the year I can think of two places to create a quick getaway, the desert or the ocean. Right after Presidents weekend we departed for the Big Sur Coast of California. OK, I admit I often like to tease people about our weather here in California when it is miserable or trying everywhere else…It was a gorgeous week along the coast. Perfect weather day and night, a good friend and my RoadTrek. How much more could you ask for?

View Big Sur Coast

Camping Big Sur Coast

The scenery was fantastic. The rugged Big Sur Coast never ceases to amaze me. There was so much to do and even with five days we found we had to choose wisely. Each day we hiked from the ocean into the redwoods and beyond. The wild life was abundant and entertaining (check out the elephant seals, near Hearst Castle, when the are mating-great entertainment).

This trip I became aware of all the unique ways that people travel. Some people swear by tent camping. That means many things to different people. Some have pup tents and others look as if they have moved the house with them. I have a fondness for tent camping. I was a tent advocate for approximately thirty years. Backpacking and hiking into the remote areas of the world was my thing. It is an adventure to throw that backpack on and go.

westy

westy

Diane was amazed at the number of Westfalias we saw. She has a fondness for them as she and her husband owned one and traveled extensively in  them. They had two young children then and it was a very convenient way to travel. What many of us take for granted here in southern CA is our old or vintage cars. Very little weather means no rust and those old Westfalias have been around for a long time. Diane was impressed with the number of them that we saw.

One Westfalia was painted psychedelic. There was  a road bike on the back of it,  painted the same way.

9-January-2012-13-1-529-January-2012-13-1-58One of the more interesting rental camper van was Jucy Lucy. It is rented through  Jucy RV Rentals. If I was younger I would have liked one of these. It looks like a small van. The roof pops up and there is a bed. A ladder makes it possible to climb up to the bed. There is a second bed in the lower part of the vehicle. In the very back is a small refrigerator, a 2 burner stove, a fridge, a sink, water tank, waste water tank,and an internal table. It was very compact and it was cute, really cute. There were two young men traveling in it. I wanted to get a photo of it in the morning but they were packed up and gone by the time I went off to find them. I included a few photos from the official website.

Traveling and camping alone in my RoadTrek is one experience. Traveling with someone else in my RoadTrek is an entirely different experience. If I travel with the right person traveling with others can be a delightful experience. Diane and I traveled well together. I think she is ready to go home and convince her husband to get an RV. It was fun to share the set up of the RV with her. She was more than willing to help and wanted to learn. It gave me more time to enjoy the campsite when we first arrived. My RT became our home for 5 days and it worked out well.

Each of our campsites were very different. All three were pretty. The state campgrounds along the Big Sur Coast are hard to beat. I love the space between the sites. It is quiet at night. Each site we stayed in offered hiking trails that started just outside the campgrounds. Once we parked, if we wanted to we could just explore that area without driving again. After driving for eight hours to get to the coast it was nice to have the option to not drive.

Camping on the Ocean

Camping on the Ocean

Camping in the redwoods

Camping in the redwoods

view from our 1st campsite

view from our 1st campsite

I love the state parks. Every state park campground I have stayed in since I bought my RT has been a good experience. I stayed in State Park Campgrounds throughout the United States last summer and left impressed and ready to try more of them. I don’t mind if they are a little more primitive. The ones I have been in have been well kept and pretty, each in their own way.

The best part of this short vacation was the delight in good conversations and a great deal of laughter. I don’t think I have laughed this much since Jim died a little over a year ago. I have heard laughter can be very healing. We laughed at our memories, we laughed at the cute otters and oh my those mating elephant seals. It was a good week with a good friend.

If you have the opportunity find a friend and go on a trip. Share your RT or RV with them and enjoy the moment.

Sea Otter

Sea Otter

Elephant Seal

Elephant Seal

 

If you would like to see all the photos from this trip. The link below will take you there.  Pictures are not labeled yet but they will be.

Journeys of Thankfulness

 


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  • Campskunk

    Janet, you are right – the California coast is a hotbed of vintage VW campers, and seems like a time capsule preserving the surfing culture of 40 years ago. The old surfers moan and groan a lot more coming out of the water than they did in their younger years – one guy I saw brought a big tub of hot water with him in his van to soak in! They’re still out there, though, which is what counts. I saw a few rent-an-RV things like the Jucy Lucys, too, for folks who fly in, or don’t own an RV.

  • Mary

    Sounds wonderful, and the best part is, I’m glad you had fun!

  • Maureen

    Thanks for sharing Janet. It is always so nice to pick up where you left off with friends, never mind the distance or the years. Definitely on my bucket list. I’ve been there but never camping.

  • Mary Kay Pfeiffer

    Wow! I just checked out your Big Sur Photos – absolutely breathtaking! I have just added Big Sur to my travel bucket list. My dad gave us his 2001 Roadtrek 200 Popular last year, so we’re kind of new at this stuff yet. . . looking forward to the drives!

  • Debbie Broadstreet

    I especially enjoy your thorough campground reviews. They are helpful for us to know if we would choose to camp there. I am glad you include info about how secluded the sites are, hiking trails and where they go, what else to do there. Thanks so much!