Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Just beachy

We did end up spending New Year's at our favorite camping place, Rincon Parkway. This little stretch of road is just outside the town of Ventura on the Pacific Ocean. Although this photo does illustrate the camping area is not representative of what the place actually looks like. I've never seen it so empty, ever. People who live local will come, park and pay on Wednesday and not show up until Friday evening to camp all weekend. Most of what we see these days are those huge diesel guys that we feel miniature next to.

If I stop and think about the camping area it's amazing why I love it so much. Let me try to describe it. Before the freeway opened a two-lane road ran parallel to the water. Between the west side of the road and the beach was space to park your car and on the east side of the road a high berm with rail tracks. A variety of passenger and freight trains travel on this line up and down the coast of California. This space is now designated for camping and most of the 127 spots are about 18 feet wide and close to 40 feet long.

When you pull in, depending on the width of your RV, you have a five feet no parking zone with a bike lane on the road side and about five feet of crumbling blacktop on the beach side. Cars and big trucks rumble by your spot at an alarming speed all hours of the day, and night. I shouldn't make it sound so attractive there are already too many campers. Past that large boulders help with beach erosion then, depending on the tide, a sandy beach and the million dollar view of the Pacific Ocean. Hook-ups? Nope, this $25 a day site is d-r-y.

The beach access can be difficult especially with a dog since you need to scramble over the boulders down to the sand. The height of the rocks varies and at many sites it's near impossible to navigate over the boulders so choose wisely. Once our site had great access and along with that came many visitors tramping through our five-foot front yard. I'm willing to share just knock the damn sand out of your shoes before you traipse across my rug.

So why is it always packed? The price has a lot to do with it and maybe because there are so few spots at the beach in Southern California but everyone I ask says, the view. You set up, get out a chair and sit down to watch. You're treated to Sea Lions and Bottle-nosed Dolphins playing and feeding in the surf and if you're lucky, the occasional blowhole spray from a migrating Gray Whale on it's way down to Baja to breed for the winter. Shore birds are too numerous to count most of the time and their antics will make anyone chuckle. Add to that the day-trip possibilities of Ojai, Cartpenteria, Ventura and Santa Barbara at for 25 bucks a night.

Wait, maybe I've said too much. Forget every thing I've said.

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