Saturday, July 02, 2005

All of California is booked

Alternate title:

Marnie and Leo have a brain fart

Leo and I both realized that we had a four day weekend, right about Wednesday this week. Neither of us has much money to spare, but we thought "OOH, let's go camping."

Where we both come from, camping is an easy endeavor. You pack up your car or backpack, go somewhere remote and, you know, pee in the woods and such. We had our hearts set on being near the ocean, so we filled the car with supplies, I picked up food, including fixin's for s'mores, and we started our drive.

We left at 10:00 AM.

Stopping a few times along the way, we were repeatedly met with "no vacancies" and "no dogs" signs. We decided we'd keep going until we hit Pismo beach (nearly 200 miles from home)

We arrived at Pismo Beach, to the news that the camping area was full, but the day visit area was open. Neither of us had actually been to this beach before though Leo had driven by on several occasions and had heard there was good camping. Pismo is a beach you can actually drive on. We pulled up onto the sand, found ourselves a nice spot and had a snack and a run in the water for Panda.

We have our fire wood and all our camping accoutrements packed up in Stewie (our car). Panda is displaying every fiber of restraint she has, since this shot is mere paces from the water, where she'd much rather be.

This area of Pismo was quite nice.

Then we drove by the camping area.
Even the cops drive Hummers. I suppose I can cut them some slack since this is a bit more of an appropriate use of such a beast, and at least it's the H1 variety, which was still built on the original military style chassis, but I don't have to like it, dammit!

The camping area is literally packed with people. There were ATVs, mobile homes, dirt bikes and SUVs as far as the eye could see.

Flags of all variety were the norm, but it said a lot about the crowd that there was a good showing of confederate flags among them. Perhaps I don't understand the minutiae of this flag's meaning, but as far as I knew, it symbolized a fight to maintain slavery, and as such, seems decided offensive to me.

I don't think these pictures properly display just how crowed the beach was, but I think you can get any idea.

And it seemed like there were two recreational vehicles for every person tall enough to reach the pedals

I did get a good Hummer flip off, though.

All in all, we walked away from this place feeling glad we had NOT made a reservation to camp here. We had visions of a quiet and remote site, with a fire and toasted marshmallows to lull us to sleep. Pismo on a long Independence Day weekend, was not going to offer us that.

So back to the road for us, another 200 miles back home. Leo, a persistent man if ever there were one, was not to be defeated. We took every beach ward turn off on the PCH in hopes of finding somewhere to set up tent before nightfall.

At 7:45PM, as the sun was disappearing behind the horizon, Leo tried one last turn off. The ranger at the gate said "I'm sorry, we're full."

Leo asked, with a shred of hope, "Can you recommend anywhere we could go camping."

To which the ranger let out a little laugh "I hear all of California is booked this weekend."
And thus ended any hope of camping this weekend.

We made it home at 9:30 PM, a bit numb in the bottom but feeling surprisingly good about the adventure. We found a dozen little parks and beaches we'd never seen before. We mooed at cows and flipped off Hummers and laughed and talked the whole way there and back. Even Panda has a bit of fun along the way. So like the trip, instead of ending on a down note, I'll leave on a happy one.

Here's some puppy love for you.


Next post will have proper fiber content...promise.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your disregard for the off roading community is extremely generalized and narrow minded. Judging by your statments about people who drive hummers, and the general attitude, (and finger flipping) you had towards those with recreational vehicles, I am going to assume you have never even truly been off roading and experienced all there is to do with it.

Way to lump everyone at that site together based on the flag assumptions too.

It amazes me how people like you, who try to give off the vibe of being "open minded" and "accepting", are in reality, some of the most closed off narrow minded people I have ever come across. No common sense. No real plan. No experience at all with four wheeling and off roading, but you sure can point the finger.


10:15 PM  
Blogger Marnie said...

Hi Anonymous,

Your disregard for my blog is extremely generalized and narrow minded as well so I suppose we are in good company.

I flip off hummers because the new ones are poorly designed gas guzzlers most often used for commuting on highways, which is not what the original design was meant for. As I said in my post, there are appropriate uses for the original. There is very little need for the H2/H3.

I posted my flag question as an honest inquiry. Unfortunately, the conversation my readers and I had is no longer on the site because I changed commenting software, but there was a very thoughtful discussion on how the original symbolism of the confederate flag has been lost but, much like the swastika, which has a very peaceful meaning in Indian culture. However, it is generally frowned upon to wave this particular flag (and the swastika, of course) because it is now loaded with such negative associations by many people.

I’m not so sure what your issue is with our plan and/or common sense since neither seemed to play too heavily into the post. That said, I will try to address your concern We were careful, we used a vehicle with four wheel drive to drive on a beach that was accessible to cars, entirely flat and firmly packed. We also adjusted our tire pressure and brought along equipment to allow us to re-inflate the tires when we were through. We drove carefully and slowly and took heed of any warnings. Further, before every outing, we pack provisions, blankets, changes of clothes, water, and tons of other survival items, on the off chance we get lost or stuck.

But hey, when you are traveling with someone who served 6 years in the US Navy, you tend to over prepare.

10:57 PM  

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