Cali Road Trip-Day 2

Thursday, August 9, 2012

So Day 2 began with meandering down the Pacific Coast Highway--another check mark on the Summer Bucket List.  I mentioned in yesterday's post that our goal was to get to Siskyone.  Apparently 20+ years ago when we were in college, my husband had his fill of the never ending gray days and drove south until he found sunshine.  (There was a certain someone of the female persuasion in the passenger seat but I'm sure it was only for safety reasons.)  They stumbled upon what he termed the most amazing campground ever right on the Pacific Ocean.  He has wanted to return to it ever since.  I have heard about this place at least once a year for the last 21.  While planning out this trip, we both did research trying to determine where this "paradise" was.  I finally suggested he email his ex-girlfriend and see if she remembered the name.  He rebuffed my idea but as the departure date grew near, so did his desperation.  Sure enough, she remembered the exact name of the state park and the campground within.  As I looked on the map, I saw that the first stretch of Highway 1 basically ended at this campground. I knew it would be an interesting journey but I had no idea exactly what I was getting myself--and the rest of my family--into.

When we arrived at the road down to the campground, it read: "Steep Grade for 3.5 miles.  Campers and Trailers not recommended."  I expressed my discomfort but got the usual, "It's fine, Dana."  The one lane dirt road with a cliff on the side was the only way to "Paradise."  It would have been "fine" if we were in an SUV or truck but I politely reminded my adventurous husband that we were driving a minivan with a bullet on top and four bikes on the bike and a family of five inside.  I closed my eyes and prayed the entire way down.  We got to the bottom and were greeted by Malcolm, our camp host living in this house.

There was not another soul in sight and it felt a little bit like a scary movie in the making.  I stayed in the car while the boys went inside the house.  It was a bonafide state park property but definitely masculine to the fullest. Turns out Malcolm was a college professor in San Francisco who volunteers there with his 13 year-old son for the month of July.  (He could have told us anything though as there wasn't a soul around to refute his story.)  I did believe him though and his son, Chris was very mature and a delightful young man.

Malcolm showed Trey "the barn" as an option over the other four campsites for $5 more.  I guess you could say it was considered an upgrade.  I still was looking over my shoulder for the ax murderer.  This need for adventure had gone too far for my liking but we were there and I had to admit it was absolutely stunning.  We basically had an entire peninsula all to ourselves.  We set up for dinner at campground nearby but put our sleeping pads and bags in "the barn" which was really a rustic sleeping shack.

This was the view from the hill to the north.  Seriously breathtaking.   Sunset was spectacular.

Right after dinner, the wind kicked up and we called it a night.  Unfortunately the wind never relented and at 2 a.m. we were all still wide awake.  Ian left and went to sleep in the car.  I think the rest of us finally got some shut eye by 3 or 4.  It was a wild night and I almost felt like the treacherous road down was a warning of the wildness to come.   When we packed up and got in the van, I made everyone sit toward the front and leaned forward the entire way up.  Just like on the way down, I closed my eyes and prayed.  We hit the paved road at the top and Ben and I jumped out and kissed the pavement in celebration.  

I told Trey that he would be hard pressed to get any of us to camp again the next night.  As we headed back to Highway 101, and got back into cell reception, he started surfing Priceline.  To be continued........

1 Comment »

One Response to “Cali Road Trip-Day 2”

Ashlee said...

Absolutely hilarious! Glad you went for it, steep grade and all.