Back when I made this reservation, I was only concerned with the fact that it was a nice site and that I could get it for three nights. I often make reservations for three nights, thinking I will take a day off. I hardly ever follow through with that though, and things are busy enough at school that it was definitely a struggle to hold firm to my plan. But a substitute had been confirmed, so I was set to commit. The only little glitch was that the west coast was forecasted to get hit with a “bomb cyclone” on Sunday. The very name feels overly dramatic (“atmospheric river” is no better), and we mostly figured it was a sensationalized version of a regular old “storm,” so we didn’t worry too much. We had hookups and cozy little storm shelter with a heater. What’s the big deal?
Relative calm before the bomb
Then, as we drove out Friday, we noticed an eerie lack of bumper to bumper traffic going through San Francisco. In fact, the whole way there, we saw very little traffic. That was disconcerting. When we got to the kiosk, in record time, we noticed a sign saying there were sites available. That’s when we knew this was worse than we thought. We asked the ranger why there were open sites and she said, with what I perceived to be fear in her eyes, “Because of the storm.” I asked if there were evacuation warnings for the campground and she said no. So we continued on through, figuring it wasn’t going go happen until late Saturday night anyway, so we might as well enjoy the premium site tonight. There were plenty of gale warnings and small craft advisories, but it’s not like I was going to go out in my boat. Onward.
Premium view, day or night, no matter the site
The first thing I did after set up was mount our LFW, or more appropriately named FFW, where the first F stands for “Faux.” I am very pleased with how nicely the colors go with the blue cushions and wood tone cabinets. It is a very cheery look and a nice way to give Dory2 her own unique flair. Plus, now we can pretend we always have a premium site with an ocean view, no matter where we are.
Campers starting to bail…
Saturday was lovely most of the day. Richard got in a great ride and I got some work cranked out so that I would not feel stressed. Half Moon Bay has excellent cell service. There is nothing I can’t access from there, so I got to be very productive. We got takeout dinner from nearby Taqueria Tres Amigos on Friday, and I did a Blue Apron on Saturday. All was well, and still no evacuation order had been issued, and then more campers started departing. We scanned the neighborhood, assessing the diehards who were choosing to remain. All of the tenters had packed up, of course. There was one little Casita and one van in our size range, but all the others were big Class As or much larger trailers. We had Dory turned to the South, which was where the wind was supposed to be coming from, and we put nothing outside. It felt like we were sitting in the blue Marine World Splash Zone seats, waiting to see how much we would get sprayed.
Captain! She’s taking on too much strain! We’ve got to head her into the wind or she’ll buckle for sure!
I woke up at 3am on Sunday morning with Dory getting a lot of rocking. I did some weather checking to see if any more alerts had been issued and looked out the window to see if there was a Poseidon Adventure wall of water coming our way. Then I tried to go back to sleep. That was mostly unsuccessful. You’d think gentle rocking to the sound of waves would be soothing.
According to the weather app, winds maintained at a steady 25-30 mph, with gusts of 45, all the way until around 2pm. Sometimes there was light rain, sometimes it was a deluge, but always there was blasting wind. I got bundled up and went out after coffee, to document the scene. I instantly got drenched. We had faced Dory’s nose perfectly into the wind at setup, so the rocking we felt could have been much, much worse. I wondered how that little Casita felt inside, but I did notice they were still there. Down by the shore, the waves were angry, but none threatening to make it over the dune and into the campground. Then it was just a full day of staying put and feeling like we were on an airplane going through nonstop turbulence. I wished we had a television and then realized I could hang my iPad off the bathroom wall and stream mindless shows. That was awesome. I also wished we had more fun food inside because neither of us was willing to walk out to the car and go get takeout. As a note to self, I should always carry the essential elements for nachos. I’m wondering what a fun dessert would have been that didn’t require prolonged use of the stove, seeing as how we didn’t want to keep the windows open much. I’m open to suggestions.
A bit wet out there
Finally the winds calmed down in the afternoon, but that did not lessen the rainfall. There were quite a few periods of feeling someone had opened the water main in the sky. Reading stats of the total rainfall, it looks like this one broke records going back to 1962, or in some cases, ever. In some parts of California, more than 9 inches of rain fell in 24 hours. Where we were, it was supposedly around 6 inches. And that is just a ton of water. Yay California, sure, but lordy! Can we pace ourselves here?
Sea Foam spill
I don’t actually think I would have been able to drive, let alone tow, at any point on Sunday. So if we had not already planned to stay, we would have had to make emergency plans. As it turned out, Monday was all blue skies and calm as could be. The only evidence of what had transpired was an endless drift of sea foam, all up and down the beach. Living, breathing snow banks, made of bubbles, were bouncing and jiggling like Jello, as far as the eye could see. It was like the Kraken overdid it on Mr. Bubble and overflowed the bathtub. It was super cool and creepy at the same time.
Richard thinking about whether he should touch the sea foam
Monday we pulled out just before noon, triumphant survivors of the 2021 Bomb Cyclone Camper Club. We dumped and parked in the Day Use area, and then walked over to Tres Amigos again, to get a quick lunch before heading back. Driving up the coast, we saw waves continue to churn and explode against the shore, the last remnant of a very powerful system. Hopefully some of the reservoirs are collecting the bounty and are looking less grim.
Here’s to bomb cyclones and taking personal days! Both serve to replenish and refill depleted resources, and both are probably best experienced only on special occasion.
Total miles: 51.8, 17.1, site 32 premium with hookups. Excellent cell service for both. Good dump with pay per use of $10.