Day 15 Pacific Coast

“It’s raining; it’s pouring. The old man is snoring.” Nope he’d have to BE asleep instead of just pretending to be since he can’t fake snoring to save his soul.

One nice thing about not having hookups is you don’t have to go out in the rain to get ready to leave camp. Unless someone put out the door mat the night before. Oops.

Routines are important when setting up and breaking up camp. Unfortunately we don’t seem to have any. So we kept thinking we were ready to go–except for… We finally left Doheny State Beach at 11:15 a.m. Hey! At least we made the noon checkout time.

We stopped at Ralph’s to get groceries. They didn’t have everything on our list.

Then we got on I-5. Strong crosswinds here. So strong there was a semi that had been pulling two trailers now in the ditch on the other side of the freeway. Cops and tow trucks were on the scene but traffic wasn’t yet backed up very far so that call must have gone out quickly.

Then I saw a firetruck headed into a campground.

Then a hearse passed us on the freeway.

These do NOT feel like good omens to me. Maybe Dave had the right idea. Maybe today would have been a good day to stay in bed.

We decided to get fuel in Oceanside. The Chevron wanted $2.69 for diesel but we didn’t see it in time to turn in. Which turned out to be a good thing since the Moshen station wanted $2.29 for diesel. It took a little maneuvering to get into and out of that station but we’ll do a lot to save forty cents a gallon.

The city bus here is called the Breeze with the slogan, “Catch the Breeze.”

We pulled up to the curb by a beach for lunch. it sure is nice having our kitchen with us.

Then we found an Albertson’s where we were able to buy the rest of our groceries.

We stopped for the night at San Elijo State Beach. The train tracks are near. So is a grade crossing. The trains blow their whistles for the crossing. I’m hoping they are mostly commuter trains so they won’t be doing that all night.



Day 14 Pacific Coast

At Will Rogers State Beach, just north of Santa Monica, Califronia, there are masses of volleyball nets on the beach. No one was playing today but I bet they get well used in the summertime.

We drove by the Santa Monica Pier which is where we had intended to end our Route 66 journey but we got there too late in the day to stop then. We didn’t stop now either. We seem to just be driving south without stopping at any tourist places on this trip. Part of that is wanting to avoid as much as we can of this winter storm.

We also drove by the Electronic Arts building. That won’t mean anything to most of you but they create most of my favorite computer games.

The road goes under part of LAX. It looked like one plane was going to land right on the road we were on but the road curved and the plane ended up on its runway. Then we drove under another runway. My those planes are huge when you get up that close.

I saw a restaurant called “Fatburger”. Truth in advertising?

You know those sports team flags people fly from their car windows? This car had antlers above its windows. And a red ball fastened to its hood ornament. Rudolph the red nosed Jaguar?

I saw an LA policeman who had stopped a vehicle. That in itself was not amazing but the policeman was wearing plaid shorts! Only in LA.

The Port of Los Angeles is lots of refineries, containers, and cranes. Very industrious looking.

In Long Beach, just past the port, we saw the first truck stop we have seen in a long time. Trucks don’t tend to drive the roads we’ve been driving.

By Long Beach City College, we saw electric hybrid buses. Cool!

I saw a very large, very old, water tower than had been converted to an apartment. It was “For Rent/Lease.” I bet you have a great view of the ocean from up there but I sure wouldn’t want to haul my groceries up those stairs.

We finally drove out of the city and stopped at Huntington State Beach to check out the camping there. Wow! $60 per night! OK that includes electricity but… We didn’t stay there.

In Minneapolis we have streets that are lined with one after another car dealer. Here in Newport Beach they have a row of yacht and ship dealers. We have lots of lakes in the Minneapolis area and several boat sales places but I don’t remember anything like this even along Lake Minnetonka.

A housing complex had fences made of sheets of glass between posts. Must not block the views, I guess.  I sure wouldn’t want to have to wash all those windows.

In Laguna Beach a shop called “Toes on the Nose” offers surf lessons.

After trying multiple entrances to multiple beaches we finally found the one that lead to Doheny State Beach Campground. My new pass got us a beach front site with no hookups for $15. We were close enough that even I could walk to the top of the small dune to see the beach.  


I sure got my Crocs full of sand, though. And the sand was very wet. I put out our door mat to wipe my feet on before going back inside.



Day 13 Pacific Coast

A winter storm hit here at Faria County Beach in Ventura, California, last night. It rained all night. The waves this morning are brown with stirred up muck. High tide is less than an hour away. The waves may wash over the rocks then. Here’s some pictures from our dinette window last night before the storm and this morning so you can see the difference the storm made.


The window by my bed leaked. We didn’t know that until making up the bed this morning when we learned the sheet was wet.  We’ll need to caulk that window when it dries out.

We got our generator fixed this morning. It was a broken valve spring that was preventing compression–or something like that. It was covered under warranty so we didn’t have to pay that $111/hour shop labor charge for the two hours it took them to fix it. Whew!

I got my new California State Parks discount pass. It cost $3.50 which we will more than get back the first time we use it. Nice.

We decide we liked In N Out Burger enough to go there again today. We drove right to it.  We have now been in the Ventura/Oxnard area long enough to know our way around. It must be time to move on. So at 2:22 p.m. we headed out of town.

We drove as far south as Malibu where we returned to the Malibu Beach RV Park we stopped at when we finished our Route 66 journey. We knew we could do laundry there. And boy did the laundry need doing! It makes me nervous to run out of clean underwear. We did ask them to give us a site long enough for us to park without being up against the fence this time, though. Again we paid for a mountain view spot but I can see the ocean from my side of the dinette. They don’t seem to consider where your primary windows look when determining if the site is ocean view or mountain view; they just look at which way your windshield points. I like that.



Day 12 Pacific Coast

We spent the morning cleaning house. Dave washed the outside of the RV and I worked on inside things including cleaning out the junk drawer. It’s amazing how much junk a drawer can collect in just a few months.

Then we did a fill and dump so we can continue boondocking.

A ranger here at McGrath State Beach gave us a bunch of literature to read. We gave back most of it but one piece told me I was eligible to apply for a discount card worth 50% off California State Parks and Beaches. Just think how much money we could have saved already if we had that card. 

The directions she gave us to the Regional Office, which is closed until Monday, where I could apply took us past an In N Out Burger place. A friend from back home (Hi, George.) had recommended In N Out Burger to us so we decided we would try it. But this one was too small and too busy; we couldn’t get in. So we decided to go to Home Depot to get the things on our list there. (Yes, we remembered the other one.) When we got to the mall where Home Depot is, there was another In N Out Burger. So we went in. Good stuff. Thanks, George.

Then Dave walked across the parking lot to Home Depot and did that shopping. And then went to another part of the mall and got his hair cut. We like malls that let us park in one place and do lots of stuff. Especially at this time of year when mall parking is at a premium.We require a minimum of two spots and prefer four when we can take them without feeling greedy.

We saw a Union Pacific passenger train. When’s the last time you saw a passenger train that wasn’t painted for Amtrak or a tourist line? 

We tried to stay at Evergreen RV Park but the office was closed and the instructions for self-registering were missing the list of available sites and the fee envelopes. As we drove through on our way out we saw the park was full of mostly new RVs that mostly looked permanently parked. No empty spaces to be had anywhere.

So we drove to Faria Beach County Park where we had full hookups for $45. Ouch! It was nice to have electricity, though. We had gone seven days with no hookups except to fill with fresh water once. We did run the generator for an hour each evening to recharge the batteries. So, now we know that if we can solve our water supply problem, we can boondock for at least a week.



Day 11 Pacific Coast

This morning Dave called an authorized generator repair place in Ventura, California. Their guy that works on LPG generators works Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and they take work on a first come first served basis. I am NOT going to be there at 7 a.m. Monday morning. But, it does look like we will hang around this area until Monday so they can look at it.

Riding along I saw a U.S. flag with an RV flag flying under it. It marked the entrance to El Capitan RV Resort. If we’d been looking for a place to stop, that would likely have worked for me.

This road maintained by “Blenders in the Grass”. Cocktails on the lawn? A bar? Some neighborhood group? Sounds like an interesting group to me.  Well read, anyway.

There don’t appear to be any Super WalMarts around here so we stopped at Vons for groceries. Dave says they are expensive and they only had half the things on our list.

Today’s street is “Santa Claus Lane.” I’m suddenly hearing Gene Autry singing “Here Comes Santa Claus.” Do you suppose the kids who live here expect him to come every day?

And what’s with that name anyway? I know it started with Saint Nicholas  But think about it. We’re in California so we are used to seeing lots of saints names. San Francisco. San Pedro. Santa Maria. Santa Rosa. Santa Claus. Wait! Santa Claus is female? 

In Ventura, California, where Highway 126 splits off from Highway 101, you go right to go left or left to go right. Is that clear?

We stopped at a mall. No, we are not doing Christmas shopping. Although stopping at a mall on Saturday this close to Christmas may not be the smartest move we’ve made lately, we do have chores that need to be done and it seems to make sense to do them while waiting for the generator place to reopen. So, we bought more groceries. And we bought the ribbons we are supposed to tie to our antenna if we go to the Escapees Class of ’08 gathering in Quartzsite, Arizona, next month. And we had KFC for lunch.

Then we went to McGrath State Beach to camp for the night.  We figured we’d charged our batteries enough between the solar panels and the alternator working while driving to be able to get by without hookups again tonight.  We’ll see how that works without being able to recharge using the generator.