Day three started with a surprise. One of my new online friends and her mom joined me for a hike up Black Hill. Bailey is an 11-year old black lab. I asked her mom Penny if she was up for a hike and they both said they’d join me. It was a gloriously clear day and the view from the top was breathtaking. There are not many clear days like this on the central coast, so this was a real treat.
After the hike, I headed back into SLO to meet with the guys from WestyWerks. They’re a legit crew of VW Bus enthusiasts. The show was immaculate and they have some amazing buses they’re working on. I picked up a new locking gas cap, snapped some pics for insta, and headed to Starbucks to get some wifi. Check out their Instagram for some killer pics of old buses.
While I was at enjoying my coffee and writing yesterday’s blog post, a biker asked me if I was “the surfer”? We chatted about the trip to Vancouver, and he gave me some tips on getting from the mainland up to Tofino. He also shared some secret off-road camp spots in Big Sur, which I will check out today. I love the people you meet on the road.
In my haste to hit the road on Wednesday, I forgot to pick up my prescriptions from two pharmacies in San Clemente. So I searched to see where the nearest SavOn and CVS were. Turns out they were both in the same shopping center as the Starbucks in which I was relaxing. That was super convenient. Thanks to the staff at both pharmacies for their friendliness and help transferring my scrips.
Back on the road to my first roadside campsite. Adam at @ouropenroad (check out their Instagram) gave me some tips on where to camp in Big Sur. The drive was mostly straight and amazingly windy. There were some glorious coastal views. While there is no real swell in the water (yet), I definitely spotted some breaks that were picking up the offshore wind. It just wet my appetite for the south swell scheduled to arrive early next week.
I came to the turnoff and climbed a very steep hill. While a VW bus might only have 60 HP, it’s all geared towards the low end and the torque is amazing. She climbed that grade (must have been 20%) like a mountain goat. About 2 miles up a winding road I found a turnoff by a dry riverbed underneath old-growth forest. While I am stoked about the ocean, I have to admit (somewhat sheepishly) that I have become a little jaded by my backyard distant ocean view. So camping under giant trees was very appealing.
I grilled some trip-tip I had brought along on my ecozoom stove. I am coming to love that thing. I also grilled a giant portobello, and red bell pepper and an ear of corn. The corn was a last minute impulse purchase, and I am so glad I made it. Sweet, multicolored, delicious end to the day.
Last night brought back memories of wilderness camping in Colorado, where I lived for 15 years. The camping in Southern California is much more restrictive. Campsites have to be reserved 6 months in advance, and generally are packed in close to one another. Then there’s the noise. Lots of people seem to come to party. If I want to party, I am heading to a bar, or a nightclub, or…a party. I generally have to bring earplugs when I camp in SoCal. But last night the only sounds were crickets and frogs. I slept like a baby.