Limekiln & New Brighton

img_7407Happy Thanksgiving! We started our break off with one of the most impressive views I’ve seen from a campsite, at Limekiln State Park. We met up there with Altoistes Lissa and Jim, and boy, did we ever get the right sites! The crashing of the waves as background music could be heard even inside Dory. We used the Caravan Mover to spin her to just the right angle for ocean viewing and I found myself just staring for hours.

Saturday it rained pretty much all day and we pulled in as it was starting to get dark. img_7413Dinner was a Blue Apron meal of Chicken Masala with lime rice and kale. I made a few adjustments to the cooking set up in Dory, specifically for Blue Apron cooking. First off, I needed to create a clip location to hang the recipe card in just the right spot. Next, I needed to change up the cutting board and sink situation a little. You can use the sink or stove areas as a work surface with the glass lids lowered, but I found that even if I prep everything ahead of time, I either need to wash my hands or do a little cutting board prep after the stove is going. img_7499So I got a solid cutting board that spans the sink and still allows access to the water. I then put my color coded, flexible cutting boards on top of that. This also makes it easy to use different surfaces for meat vs veggies and not necessarily have to wash them in the middle of cooking. And last, I got a citrus zester because the cheese grater just does not do double duty on that task.

img_7414Lissa and Jim came over with pie and ice cream after dinner so the boys could celebrate their identical birthdays. Richard can now officially say, “I’m 50. I don’t like _____.” I’d say Dory is just big enough to entertain 2 people. And if they’re Altoiste people, you don’t have to remind them not to hit their heads. Hanging out with Lissa and Jim was excellent and we got to later drift off to sleep to the glorious sound of rain and waves.

img_7425Sunday our friends headed out and I spent a couple hours writing reports so I could get them out of the way. And I stared. And walked on the beach. Later that afternoon, we decided to brave the drizzle and go on the waterfall hike. That turned out to be more than we bargained for. I’m not sure if there is usually less water running in the creek, or img_7440if the water crossings are normally more substantial, but suffice to say, we felt very adventurous after we made it back. I took pictures of Richard balancing carefully on the sticks and rocks, but it was in the back of my mind that all those funny shots would be lost if I went down and took my phone with me. But we made it just fine and came back to make steak fajitas for dinner.

img_7452Monday morning we had enough time to hike up to the lime kilns. That was an easy hike. The kilns themselves are quite the marvel of engineering when you consider how they must have had to transport all of the materials somehow back in the late 1800s. Apparently, they used the kilns to extract lime from the local rocks. The lime was then shipped out and used to make concrete for construction in San Fransisco and Monterey.

All in all, this was one of my all time favorite places.



img_7476After hitching up Monday, we stopped for lunch and a reflection photo op just to the north of Limekiln. Then we casually made our way back up the coast to New Brighton. This is one of those campgrounds where you have to be ready to grab sites right at 8:00 am on the first of the month, six months in advance. You can literally see the premium sites get taken as you are trying to make your reservation. I can see why the premium sites are so popular though. There is a ton of room and you get your own ocean view. img_7478Unfortunately, we did not get much solar the whole time because we were behind trees. We took note of other sites that might be better for that and we turned the fridge off at night to conserve battery power. We got a bit of a recharge during the drive from Limekiln to New Brighton, but ended up hitting 57% battery by the end of 4 nights out with not much solar.

Tuesday, we took a long romantic walk on the beach from New Brighton to SeaCliff. We felt a little under financed as we were walking past the billionaire beach homes, until we came to the RV campground. There’s another place that’s hard to reserve, but honestly, it didn’t appeal to me. That campground is a long parking lot with sites right next to each other. I get that there’s an ocean right in front of you, but there are also two huge big rigs on either side of you. I don’t think I’ll be reserving that place.

An interesting sight from that part of the beach is the SS Palo Alto. This is an enormous concrete tanker, constructed during the tail end of WWI, that was never used. It became a restaurant for a while, but eventually sort of fell apart in the harbor. Now it’s home to a variety of sea creatures and a popular spot for fishing people.

img_7489After a quick detour to Marianne’s Ice Cream, we walked the long beachy walk back to Dory. Then nappy time. Then we made Alto calzone in the Omnia oven. That turned out way better than I thought it would. We used about half of a container of pre-made pizza dough, spread it out on top of parchment paper in the Omnia, then covered it with toppings and put the remaining half over the top. 20 minutes at “medium” heat and we had really good (though unmistakably bundt cake looking) stuffed pizza.

All this dreaminess did come with a price tag and we hit traffic, big time, heading home on Wednesday. Plus, our son, who is home again (long story), had developed some kind of alarming illness. That’s the worst. When you’re trying to get home as fast as possible, but every car on the planet is on the same stretch of road, and you have a trailer. *sigh*

Camping rocks.

Total miles to Limekiln: 175.3, 4 hours, 23 min, 16.0 mpg. Site 4 (wow!). Site 5 would also be great, but all the other sites would make you think, “Damn, sites 4 & 5 sure do have nice views.” Total miles to New Brighton from Limekiln: 92.8, 2 hours 47 min, 15.3 mpg. Site 79. Other premium sites that are very nice: 75 (solar), 76* (solar), 78, 79, 82, 87 (solar), 88 (solar), 90.

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