Sunday, July 17, 2011

Camping along the NorCal coast

On Saturday morning we hopped in the car and made up our way to Highway 1 so that we could go camping along the stunning coast of Northern California. After getting incorrect directions from Yelp & Google Maps for the place we wanted to each lunch at in Bodega Bay, we were a little less confident in the  directions to the state park that I'd emailed myself that morning before setting out. The directions said the trip would take about two hours and 27 minutes but with how slow you have to drive on Hwy 1 it was closer to three hours. Add an extra 30 minutes for lunch and an additional 30 minutes for getting lost at lunch and it took us closer to two hours to arrive at Salt Point State Park.

We were in the Woodside Campground so no view of the ocean to speak of. We set up camp, and then headed out on a really grueling hike down to the cliffs overlooking the ocean. The park map wasn't great about giving information about the hikes and the trails were poorly marked and poorly maintained so I think in several instances we were actually blazing new trails through the brush. By the time we hit the water my ankles were a bit scratched up from getting smacked with errant branches and twigs. On the way back to camp we came across the Beachside Campground and saw that it doesn't really have a view of the ocean either so we were actually happy to be in the woods because there was more privacy.

We forgot our camping chairs so we had to sit at the picnic table. Unfortunately that was a bit a ways away from the fire ring. Then we realized that we forgot plates or utensils. Making dinner was interesting, or rather, eating dinner was interesting. When we were finished we decided to drive down to the cliff because we'd heard sunsets from there were beautiful. Everything was completely fogged over so we were the only ones down there. We couldn't see the sun set but we got a really private walk along the sandstone ledge before heading back to camp to hang out for the night and sleep.

This morning we made bacon & eggs for breakfast on our new camp stove. Wow, what a difference over cooking with the fire! I can't believe we've waited this long to get a camp stove. What would have taken us at least 30 minutes on the fire pit took more like seven or eight minutes. And we could boil water for coffee in just a couple of minutes. It was a whole new camping cooking experience.

After packing up the site, we drove back down Hwy 1 - I really don't like being on the cliff side on some of those twists & turns - to Tomales Bay where we picked up oysters to bring home for lunch. Alan's parents came over and we had a great lunch of both raw & bbq'd oysters in the back yard.

The whole trip was about 28 hours total, but it seemed like longer - in a good way. We're hoping to get in one more camping trip before it gets too cold & wet.