Coastal Solstice Trip and Eight Campgrounds to Crystal Cove!

Nothing like getting to visit the coast of California in 17 days beginning with Anthony Chabot Regional Park in Oakland and heading south to New Brighton in Santa Cruz, Kirk Creek in Big Sur, Montana de Oro in San Luis Obispo County, Camp Comfort in Ojai, Malibu Beach RV park in Malibu and ultimately Crystal Cove SP in Laguna Beach.

The drought signs were everywhere as we headed into rain.

Site number 44 in Anthony Chabot Campground. Cost us 33$ – not bad for a quick night stay in the Oakland Hills.

Deciding to go to East Bay Regional Park District and Anthony Chabot Campground was on our list for a while. We made it before the traffic was heavy with commuters on Tuesday, June 9, and settled in before rain came. I made reservations, probably didn’t need them, but glad to get a nice pull through mostly level site as we forgot to put the levelers in the truck. TV was a must to watch with the Warriors in the playoffs- unfortunately they lost the game.

New Brighton State Beach #3

Weather was nice to walk in, but lingering coolness from a short storm kept the beach a bit empty.

Nothing better than having family come from Santa Rosa, Mariposa and Santa Cruz for a day of celebrating. Dinner was fabulous and the Warriors won!

We could only get two nights (Wednesday 6/10 and 6/11) at New Brighton SB. Seems that the campground gets reserved as soon as six months ahead of time comes online. I still can’t figure out the hacks for the reservation system. All the weekends throughout the month of June were gone before 8:00 am when the system opened up. Anyway when we arrived at our site it was quite disappointing with trash and broken glass everywhere, but we got it cleaned up and kept it that way for the next campers. The fact that there were houses right behind us added a new dimension as we were a migration lane for kids, parents and dogs to come through our site.

It was a quick visit with John doing a bike ride in Forest of the Nisene Marks SP and myself hanging out in Capitola visiting the beach and shops. Oh and we picked up some levelers on the way.

Driving through Big Sur on Highway 1 and the rock-shed tunnel near Lucia ($40 million).

I spy Kirk Creek CG from the Nacimento-Fergusson Rd. Glad to have reservations for the weekend.

This is our second time camping at Kirk Creek CG (I stayed here back in the early 70’s) and we just love it. It has been a dry campground since 2013 and still fills up everyday. This visit we decided to visit Limekiln State Park, and then to drive the Nacimento-Fergusson Rd. Since it was a weekend we chose to stay close to the park.

We spent most of our time hanging out at the campground, and I realized I needed a bit more reading material, and some better coloring/drawing materials.

Site # 32. A bit of a stretch for our rear end to be level, but we made it work – glad for the levelers!

Columbine flowering in Limekiln SP. The four kilns are worth a hike as is the Falls trail.

The beach is beautiful at Limekiln SP, and we saw numerous dolphins and birds. Even though the beach is beautiful there were numerous sleeper waves. I wouldn’t advise swimming here, we witnessed a family with small children having a difficult time relaxing. And camping is way too congested for our taste.

Driving down the 1 we came upon the Elephant Seal rookery just above Hearst Castle at Piedras Blancas I have never seen so many seals. The kelp forest and sandy beach make it a great spot for these crazy big seals.

It’s now Sunday, June 14 and we arrive at Islay Creek Campground in Montana de Oro SP. We pick site 40 – the site we saw last year that looked so inviting!

Walked to the beach and watched the sunset from the porch of the Spooner’s Ranch House.

This was our first time going all the way down Highway 1, not to bad of a drive. On our way to Montana de Oro we pull into Morro Bay SP to dispose of our black water tank and have a minor scuff with the fence at the dump station. It’s a tight one that we misjudged. We also look at the campground and since last year when we cruised thru a lot of trees have been cut down. It also is a congested campground, probably better to visit in the off-season.

Arriving at Montana de Oro on a Sunday, the weekenders were gone and we were able to choose the perfect site. This campground is in a beautiful spot and if we were to be camp hosts this would be the place.

There are seven miles of shoreline and the views from the bluffs are always perfect.

Biking for both John and myself is the best here.

Traveling south it was a goal to visit La Purisima Mission State Historical Park. When we arrived in a dirt parking lot we drove right for some shade and heard a thump, got out and discovered our tailgate open and a nice dent in it. How long it had been open who knows, but nothing was gone – except for a semi flawless tailgate.

We went on a guided hike through the mission and learned so much about the area. Really wish we staying close by to explore the area. The Matilija Poppy is spectacular at the mission amid the harsh drought conditions.

Camp Comfort #11

Camp Comfort is always a favorite and here we are again. Only three others were in the park. We spent two nights here on purpose so that we would hit the Santa Monica area on Thursday before the weekend. I spent Wednesday in Ojai shopping, did laundry at the campground and John did a bike ride. Love Ojai!

Wine, the Rolling Stone and a view!


Drove the coast down and arrived at Malibu RV park effortlessly and got site #14… beautiful!

Malibu for three nights! This is the perfect place to stay with the Airstream and over a weekend. We arrived on Thursday, explored the campground, watched the waves, met neighbors and did some birdwatching. The campground is well laid out and for two nights we had no one on our door side which was fabulous.  Friday we went to Universal Studios and on Saturday I hit downtown Santa Monica and John rode down the strand bikeway. We also visited Malibu Creek State Park and would consider that for one or two nights in summer but would love to visit in the spring!

The view is so perfect and we even had some palm trees that attracted a few amount of birds. Cost $436.00 (ocean view and full hookups) for three nights – beats a hotel price with this view!

John decided after I went to sleep to purchase tickets to Universal Studios for Friday. It was fun, hot, crowded but we enjoyed it. Best ride was the tram that went into the backlots.

Had not visited Universal Studios in over twenty years. Waterworld was here then and still today- great show!

We backed in, in such a way, to utilize the view even though there were chalk marks on the ground laying out where to park. We got in a little bit of trouble and told next time to please pay more attention.

Crystal Cove -Sunday thru Wednesday was perfect. I can remember as a teen, in SoCal, the landscape as I had a close friend that lived in Emerald Bay – but at that time there was just a trailer park in the canyon (removed in 2005), the berry shake shack, and fields of crops. In later years we had a friend that was the first park ranger in the area and we came back to explore with him years before the campground opened. Now more years later we are playing tourist.  We biked to the historical section, lunched at the Beachcomber, had dear friends come for dinner, biked more and visited SP beaches to the south. By far this campground is the best for us. We day tripped to San Mateo SP, San Onofre SB, Doheny SB and San Clemente SB to check out future spots none of which we would stay at in the summer – too congested.

We hit the Los Banos west KOA (39$/full hookups) on the way home – a good break point halfway home.

Crystal Cove Historical Section – cottage rentals and a great beach. They are in the process of restoring 17 additional cottages.

We rode our bikes from the parking lot of Reef Point to the Beachcomber Restaurant in the historical section for a well deserved lunch.

The beach is always a favorite – Father’s Day 2015.

Site 19 in Coyote Run at Moro Campground.