Not exactly what I had planned, but still pretty nice.
To give you a sense of the kind of planner I am, when I reserved this site six months ago, I took into account the fact that IEP trimester progress reports were going to be due that Friday. And since I always feel a huge sense of relief and satisfaction when those go out, I thought, “Oh yeah, that would be a great day to take off and drive down for a long weekend and I know I will for sure have to be done by Friday. And I know it’s a long drive so I really want to make the trip worthwhile.” So our Alto BFF joined in the action and we reserved adjoining sites in the North Campground. Nice sites too. Fast forward to January and we’re on pins and needles hoping the state parks open for camping. “Hooray!” we say, as the Covid restrictions start to loosen. “Boo!” we say, as the North Campground closes due to flooding. “It’s ok!” we say, as we quickly regroup and make new reservations at the Oceano campground just down the road. All is good, what could go wrong?
Always nice to camp with great friends.
Fast forward to early February when the school board votes to reopen the elementary schools for hybrid in-person instruction and we get two weeks to get ready. Those were the two weeks I would have used to get ready for progress reports. I had that all planned, you see. But it’s ok because we get an extra week to get those out. Except that now pushes the due date to the following Friday. Then the middle school lands on a date to hold 5th grade transition meetings right in the same week. It’s been a major month, you guys, and my work free weekend definitely got hijacked. Hybrid zoom teaching has fully kicked my ass and there are days I’m not sure I have the mental ability to operate my car enough to drive the mile home. Getting a sub is anything but straightforward in Zoom school, but thankfully, my principal was able to get a superstar to cover for me Monday and Tuesday so that I could power through paperwork. Yes, that meant I needed to spend some BFF weekend time on the computer, but it was still fun. And it was enough for me to get all the things done.
If you gotta work, camp working is way better.
The plan was to stay through Sunday night and drive back Monday. That would leave me all day Tuesday to kick into high gear. Then, as we were driving down, we both had the same thought: why not stay through Monday night and drive home Tuesday? Couldn’t that work too? Richard checked, and there were sites available! We had enough food for an extra night. We got excited. Then, oh darn, I had my first Covid vaccine scheduled for Monday afternoon and that was super hard to get. Disappointment. On a lark, Richard tried the CVS site just to see if he could get one for Tuesday. For context, getting through the CVS portal to schedule an appointment is harder than snagging a premium site at Wright’s Beach. Crazily, he got through on the first try and was able to reserve an appointment. “No way,” we both thought. That’s for sure a sign. Yay for a four night stay!
Sunsets at Pismo are definitely worth the drive. (Hi Rocket!)
Though we were able to get a little head start to the drive on Friday, it’s a five hour haul and we didn’t make it before dark. With about an hour to go, we stopped for gas and I went inside. Uh oh, something was not right with the table. It was very wobbly and upon inspection I saw that three of the screws holding the pedestal receiver to the base had pulled out. We’re pretty sure this is due to the added weight of the drawer slide assembly. Remember I said it was heavy duty? Emphasis on the heavy. We put the table down in bed mode and laid the base down for the rest of the way, but now we have a new project and need to rethink the idea. Boo.
It was so great to see Linda with dogs. Sadly, one of her most beloved, T-Rex, just passed on quite unexpectedly. This is a super heavy blow to Linda. I must say, we missed him too. He was a very good doggie. We miss you T-Rex. You did your mama proud. 😥💔
We’ll miss you T Rex. You were a very good boy for your mommy.
On Saturday and Sunday, I got in several hours each day just writing. That worked out well with Richard’s biking plans and with Linda’s chillin plans. In the afternoons, we did some little drives. The first was up See Canyon to Prefumo Canyon Road and that offered spectacular views of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo. The other was out to Lopez Lake to check out the campground and boating potential. It’s a reservoir water feature, which means steep banks and highly variable water levels. It’s a fun family oriented campground, with playgrounds and water slides, so a good place to go with kids. There were boat launches, but the water is so low, you’d have to trek way out across the dry lake bed to get to a launching spot. It was pretty though. But also, no cell service except in specific spots near the water. Overall, I don’t think I’d reserve there. If I were going to do that drive, I’d be going for the state beach.
Sunset …plus cars.
We wanted to go out to the tunnel cave we visited before, to see the sunset. We led Linda out to the parking area and all voted “bail” when we saw the crowds. If the parking area was that packed, the cave was sure to be a Covid fest. We did a quick Plan B by stopping at the closed North Campground and walking over to the beach from there. That was nice and far less crowdy.
On Monday, we had to change sites and say goodbye to Linda. It was really really good to see her, even at six feet away. Pismo is a fun place, but I still find the vibe to be not exactly my speed. There are so many people and resorts crammed along the coast, with huge RV places being the norm. The state parks are nice though, and I liked the Oceano campground. There’s a pretty little walk you can do around a lagoon and you are walking distance to the beach. In this case, the beach means that you are in the area shared by a ton of cars, as this is one of the few places where you can drive and camp right on the sand. We both have cognitive dissonance around that whole concept, so we have no desire to try it. There’s just something about driving on a beach that seems wrong. But I guess if you’re going to do it, it’s best to have it all in one place, right? On the positive side, there are lots of fun restaurants in Pismo, including an amazing cinnamon roll place, Old West Cinnamon Rolls, and a good Mexican place, Old Juan’s Cantina, walking distance from the campground. Both do a great job with contactless transactions. On our walks, we spotted a Black Crowned Night Heron and a Double Crested Cormorant, in addition to some Great Blue Herons and Snowy Egrets.
Nicticorax (Night Heron) was the name of my dad’s sailboat. So that’s kinda cool to see one.
Great and unexpected four day weekend! I owe thanks and a couple bottles of wine to the sub and Learning Center peeps who navigated breakout rooms without me. I don’t think they want me to do that again. But they also don’t want me to die either because then they would have to do that all the time. So it works out.
Sun down on another fun trip.
Total miles: 5 hours 47 min there, 5 hours 10 min back. 247.7 miles, 17.4 mpg there, 16.4 mpg back. Site 53 Oceano Campground – lagoon view site with nice solar, then 63, spacious site with a bit of solar. Linda had 56, which was great with water views and full solar. No hookups and no dump. Dumped a mile up the road at an RV place. Good dump there. Great cell service for both, enough to do SEIS.