J. F. Rowan
Leaving Pinnacles National Park, we traveled south and then west through Paso Robles to the coastal town of San Simeon, to San Simeon State Park. Fortunately, we were able to reserve a spot for the first night thereby getting our foot in the door. This method allows us to get into a park with a short commitment. Once there, we can explore the park for other sites that might be more to our liking and possibly switch spots.
We were able to find a somewhat suitable spot which we kept for two nights. Again, without beating the preverbal dead horse further, California State Parks (California in general..) have an issue with costs versus services rendered. Lack of communication, poorly maintained shower and bathroom facilities. All for a price that’s the highest we’ve seen in months.
SIDE NOTE- Fuel is incredibly expensive in California. But how much more compared to the rest of the states? Well, I asked myself that very question and decided to do some research. The chart below is what I found. Very revealing.
The chart is current as of July 2019. What's the fuel tax in your state?
It was time to do some errands so we visited a small surf town called Cayucos which was a small surfer town located about 30 minutes down the coast. We walked on the beach and through the town sampling a few restaurants along the way. The food was great (prices fair too!), the folks were warm and friendly. Parking the Tiger (Turtle was back at camp) was easy. Temperatures were around 62 during the day, 40’s at night.
Recently, for some strange reason, we seem to attract people in large groups. On more than one occasion we find ourselves sitting in camp looking on as multiple buses or vans roll into the park offloading hoards of kiddos of all ages. Girl scouts, boy scouts, homeschool camping groups, private school kiddos, camp outings, single dads with kiddos groups, single moms with kiddos groups. And no matter the group, all seem to make their center of operations next to, or across from where we camp. We laugh about it now, but at the beginning…
The good news during this particular stay was that even though the group of scouts whose area was directly across from us was pretty noisy, we were usually away from camp during the day hiking or doing errands. And by 8 or 9 PM when we were back in camp, the kiddos and adults were usually winding down and soon sound asleep. On the very positive endow the spectrum, it’s good to see so many kids hiking and playing outside without a single phone or video game any where in site.
But this was not a campground we had any real intention of visiting in the first place. We were only here as a diversion because of the winter snows moving into three destinations we would regretfully have to skip. Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon parks all would have to be put off until late spring, if at all. Instead, we set our sights on Joshua Tree National Park.