Big Sur Day 1

I had slept a good part of this day, after working the night before. I woke up, loaded everything in my Honda Element, cleaned the litter box, loaded the automatic cat feeder and cat waterer, kissed Ashley, and hit the road. I had decided to stay at Limekiln State Park. It's just south of Big Sur, and looked like the perfect place for hiking and camping. I called the ranger station, and they said they had 1 campsite left (out of 34) and they couldn't reserve it for me. I had a beautiful drive along the coast down, but I didn't stop for pictures, so I could get that last campsite, and get it before sunset. I got to Limekiln just at dusk (a 2 hour twisty highway drive), as the Ranger was closing things up. He asked me if I was the one that called, I said "yes." He said he still had that one site left, and it was on the beach. He said I'd have to move to a different site the next night, as that site has been reserved for then. There are three different sections to the campground, Beach, Creek, and Woods. The creek goes by all of them, but the creek part is like right against the creek. The woods part has big redwoods all around, and that's the part I would prefer. But if the beach is all they got, I'll take it. I paid my $25, and drove up to my spot. Families were everywhere, big families too. There were a collection of tents and canopies on either side of my little spot. The families all watched me pull in. I think they watched with more interest when they realized I was alone. The women gave open, warm smiles, the men gave concerned glances and went about their business. I looked around my campsite took some pics, and walked down to the water. It was rather chilly now that the sun had fled, and the marine layer of fog weighed in.

My little campsite by the beach. The creek is just a few yards in front of and below my car. That's my jacket and citronella candle on the table. The passenger rear door is open. The fire grate is in front of the car.

The view from the other direction. The box is full of firewood from the grocery store. I have my reflector up in the windshield for privacy, as I was camping in the car.

This is down by the ocean, standing in the middle of the creek, looking up at the beach campsites. You can't see my campsite here. The little building to the left is where the restrooms and one shower is located for the beach sites.

Standing in the same spot, looking the other direction, at the Pacific Ocean.

The waves crash up at the stream.

My bed, with "The Grapes of Wrath" ready for me. This is in the back of the Element. I had folded the seats up to the sides, and not only do they free up the space, they block the side rear windows. I hung a blanket over the rear window, towels over the front side windows, and the sun reflector in the windshield. All my gear was in the two front seats. This is my new sleeping bag, with the flannel blanket inside. I love it.

I had bought some supplies at Walmart on my way out of town. One of those supplies was a little pocket-knife/multi-tool. I realized at the campground that it was totally sealed in this plastic package, and without a pocket-knife, I wasn't going to get it open. :( I went to the campsite to the left of me where a family was cooking and eating at their fire, and asked if I could use a knife or scissors to get to my knife/scissors. The woman laughed at me, and took out a knife, cutting the package open for me. She was older, maybe late 30's to mid 40's. She was nice.

After I got my bed all situated, I went to go start a fire and sit to cook, eat, and think. I realized that there was no place (not even a rock) to sit and reach the fire ring (couldn't see in if I sat on the ground). I noticed that the people on my left (where the lady who opened my package was) had lots and lots of chairs, and they were cleaning up for the night. Only 2 of them were even out at their fire. I went to the same lady as before and asked if I could borrow a chair for a bit. She laughed and told me that I may as well sit and use their fire, since they still had one, and I hadn't started one. I told her I didn't want to be getting in her way, but she said she wanted to sit and visit anyway. So, I gathered my supplies for wieners and marshmallows, and pulled up a seat. The woman sat with me, and I learned her name was Farah. She works for the post office near Fresno, as a mail carrier. She told me all sorts of things about being a mail carrier, it's interesting. I told her about what I do, then we talked about the birth of her two boys (since that's on the subject of what I do, I hear everyone's birth experiences now, it's neat). We talked late into the night, almost midnight-- just the two of us.

Then I we both went to bed. I marveled at being able to hear the loud rushing creek at the same time as the loud roaring waves of the ocean. Pretty neat place. Once I got in my car, I put my camp fan on, and I couldn't hear anything anymore, but that was ok. I read from my book. I had planned to do some phone calls at the campground, but I had no cell reception-- which is probly better anyway, just relax with nature.

I slept fairly good that night, although I did get up at 3:30am to use the bathroom. That campground was pitch black, and dead silent except for the water. And boy that ocean was going to town then, I do believe the tide was in.