Bike touring webrarian
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Bikes: I tour on a Waterford Adventurecycle. It is a fabulous touring bike.
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California coast camping site changes
I am in the middle of a SF to LA ride. I am currently enjoying a rest day at a friend's house in Santa Barbara. There are a couple of things I've learned on this trip that I wanted to pass along to anyone else who might be riding down the California coast.
One of the places I always stop on my way through Big Sur is just south of Lucia. There are two campgrounds very close to the town (a bit south) and each other. One is a state campground, Lime Kiln, and the other is a Federal campground (part of Los Padres National Forest), named Kirk Creek. The Federal one has no showers but has a nice hiker/biker site (the person in charge there told me that they have been approved for showers but don't hold your breath on when it will happen). The nightly tarrif is $5. The state campground does have showers but no hiker/biker sites and cost $25/night. That really puts the value of showers into dollars!
For what it is worth, the night I was there the state campground didn't have showers either due to a power problem of some sort. The Federal camp sites are 2 miles down the road and have a great view of the ocean. The state camp has sites on the beach!
Another common place to stay is the state campground in Oceano, just south of Pismo Beach. The first two times I stayed there, it was in their hiker/biker site. When I pulled in there three nights ago, the campground was full (it was a Friday night) and there no longer was a hiker/biker area. According to the guy on duty, the area was closed due to abuse from local homeless people. This is a shame as there isn't another hiker/biker camping area anywhere near there, that I am aware of.
Since the campground was full, I thought I might have to get a hotel for the night, which would have been expensive. Instead, I was directed to a county park 200 yards, or so, away that had an open "camp" site. It was really an RV style place where most of the camp site was asphalt. It cost $29/night.
I just wanted to let everyone know what was going on so that you can make plans if you are going to be in this area. While I would rather pay $5 to sleep on the ground, $29 sure beats $50+ for a hotel room. However, if you are going to camp at Oceano, be aware that you now have to make a reservation or risk not getting a spot there.
As for other touring news, I have to say that the water off of Big Sur was surreal. The deeper water was deep blue (the color of my bike) and the shore was white. As the two mixed, the water seemed to be every shade in between. As I watched it all day, it began to look like someone was mixing blue and white paint together. Truly amazing!
In addition, it has been one of those dreams situations where every day the wind is behind me. I'm sure I will pay for this run of luck sometime in the future but, for now, I can revel in feeling of coasting at 15+ MPH with pedaling!