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Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-05-2007, 09:46 AM   #1
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Need Help With Trip Plan


"Taking a trip?
"What's that?"
"Taking a trip."
"Yeah."
"Where to?"
"Oh, I don't know...wherever I end up, I guess."
"Pal, I wish I was you."
"Really?...well...hang in there."

So that's the premise behind my planned August surfing trip down the coast of California. The idea is to camp and surf with no set schedule.

The problem I see is that with the overcrowding down there, I need to make campsite reservations 6 months in advance. Can't be very spontaneous that way. Any ideas?


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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-05-2007, 09:50 AM   #2
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

Wilderness camping? I know there are plenty of state parks/national parks in my area (in NC) where you can prop a tent wherever for free (or maybe a small nominal fee). Sometimes they ask that you register with the ranger's office (locally or via email/phone). Prep a list of places/phone numbers ahead of time.

Not sure how you'd handle getting water and showering. Maybe stay in a motel 6 type place every once in a while?
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-05-2007, 11:15 AM   #3
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

There are no beach sites available in Southern California on weekends almost all year and all week long in warm months. These fill up for the year around 2AM on Jan 2nd, no kidding. I do camp along the costs when I can at places like Morro Bay and the central coast. On winter weekdays I can get places in San Diego county. But there are other approaches including staying inland a bit and driving over to the shore. Surfers in Southern California have a bad territorial reputation. The only reason I have no problems encountering them in kayaking is that I want to spend a little time in the surf zone as possible and just when the waves get to be the size they want they are when I don't want to be there.

But if you do get down this way drop me a line and I can bring along an extra kayak & we can play in waters you would probably find boring.
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-06-2007, 04:17 PM   #4
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

Thanks, Yak, will do.

So far I've got camping reservations for Capitola, Pismo, and Santa Barbara (El Capitan - three nights).

Even camping has been gobbled up by press-1-for-this-press-2-for-that corporate america. For many campgrounds you have to reserve specific sites. So, even if there are sites available for three consecutive days, you may need to make three separate reservations, with a $7.50 reservation fee for each.

Anyone been to Malibu Creek State Park? If that works, I'll stay there a few days and surf the Malibu area.

There are sites at San Onofre state park, and I might stay there a bit.

As you said, The hard part is going to be camping near San Diego. Any slightly inland campgrounds you can recommend?

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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-06-2007, 04:34 PM   #5
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

San Onorfe is 'the' place for kayak surfing in southern Cal, not sure if that is becasue the good surf places are owned by board folks. On the central coast I love Morro Bay State Park, there is a surf area just north of the town. One camping spot that is often missed is Montana de Oro; it is 'primitive' and down a long road but beautiful. I don't believe they take reservations. At Pismo you actually camp on the beach, good place if you have a 4X4 as you can drive around the beach.

Now one other idea, and you would have to be a good surfer & probably want a buddy but I know about it beacuse I kayak the Channel Islands. You can take a boat out for the day or camp on a couple islands and surf off the west side of the islands. Ususlly nobody there, bigger waves and truely wild envirenemt, undeveloped property just a few miles from central & southern Cal, and you would have stories to tell...
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-06-2007, 06:53 PM   #6
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Anyone been to Malibu Creek State Park? If that works, I'll stay there a few days and surf the Malibu area.
T-Al, I've been to Malibu Creek, but only for hiking. It's a really pretty park.

Speaking of which, check this out:

http://www.sdreader.com/php/roamshow.php?id=20020725
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-06-2007, 07:27 PM   #7
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

T-Al,

If you run into trouble finding a campsite in San Diego County you can use my yard as a backup. I know that sounds a little goofy but, hey, it's there if you need it. PM me if I can be of assistance.
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-07-2007, 07:11 AM   #8
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

Buy a large used van. Possibly a conversion van. You can sleep in it if a campground is not available. Make sure the windows are blacked out. Careful where you park.

Sell the van when the adventure is over.
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-07-2007, 02:27 PM   #9
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Wilderness camping? I know there are plenty of state parks/national parks in my area (in NC) where you can prop a tent wherever for free (or maybe a small nominal fee).
Are you talking about Northern California or North Carolina ? My experience
over most of the southeast of the country is that "camping in designated sites
only" is the norm. It's one reason I like car camping out west so much more.


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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-07-2007, 04:27 PM   #10
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyShackleford
Are you talking about Northern California or North Carolina ? My experience
over most of the southeast of the country is that "camping in designated sites
only" is the norm. It's one reason I like car camping out west so much more.
I'm talking about north carolina. No idea how it works in Northern California. I've done wilderness camping in North carolina though. I believe the places I've been are National park service land. I figure NPS land in No Cal would offer similar opportunities for wilderness camping (assuming the Park is of a large enough size to support wilderness camping).
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-07-2007, 04:43 PM   #11
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

New Brighton State Beach (near Santa Cruz) has 30 or 40 camp sites. The weekend dates fill very quickly after they become available for reservation. Like Yakers said, sometimes in manner of minutes. You might be able to get a weekday spot though.

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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-07-2007, 05:23 PM   #12
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

Yes, New Brighton is the Capitola campground that I'm all set for. This sure is going to be an interesting trip. I might stay in a Motel 6 in San Diego or Cal Dreamer's backyard (thanks, CD!).

Ms. Cal Dreamer: Honey, there's a tent and a surfboard in the backyard!
CD: Oh, that's just someone from the ER Forum.
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-07-2007, 05:28 PM   #13
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Thanks, Yak, will do.

So far I've got camping reservations for Capitola, Pismo, and Santa Barbara (El Capitan - three nights).

Even camping has been gobbled up by press-1-for-this-press-2-for-that corporate america. For many campgrounds you have to reserve specific sites. So, even if there are sites available for three consecutive days, you may need to make three separate reservations, with a $7.50 reservation fee for each.

Anyone been to Malibu Creek State Park? If that works, I'll stay there a few days and surf the Malibu area.

There are sites at San Onofre state park, and I might stay there a bit.

As you said, The hard part is going to be camping near San Diego. Any slightly inland campgrounds you can recommend?

I live near malibu creek park. it's nice enough camping spot.
the surfing on that beach is not very good but if you drive south a bit to zuma beach , etc.. (like 5 minutes)
it's better. take this w/ a grain of salt as i am not a surfer but what i've heard/recalled second hand
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-07-2007, 07:19 PM   #14
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I might stay in a Motel 6 in San Diego or Cal Dreamer's backyard (thanks, CD!).

Ms. Cal Dreamer: Honey, there's a tent and a surfboard in the backyard!
CD: Oh, that's just someone from the ER Forum.


Seriously let me know. You guys are welcome to it if you get in a pinch.

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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-09-2007, 01:35 PM   #15
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
I'm talking about north carolina. No idea how it works in Northern California. I've done wilderness camping in North carolina though. I believe the places I've been are National park service land. I figure NPS land in No Cal would offer similar opportunities for wilderness camping (assuming the Park is of a large enough size to support wilderness camping).
I'm not sure about N. Carolina, but I believe all of the 7 national parks in CA only allow camping in designated areas. These are either campgrounds with sites or areas in the backcountry.

National FOREST land on the other hand is a different story. National forests usually have a lot fewer restrictions on where you can camp.
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-09-2007, 01:40 PM   #16
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderALot
National FOREST land on the other hand is a different story. National forests usually have a lot fewer restrictions on where you can camp.
You're right - I've wilderness camped in national forest land (specifically pisgah national forest). I didn't realize it was seperate from the national park service land. So maybe T-Al can find some californian national forests that allow wilderness camping.
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-10-2007, 05:12 PM   #17
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

TromboneAl,

You might try Guajome County Park, which is in Oceanside (north of San Diego) and a little inland:

http://www.co.san-diego.ca.us/parks/...g/guajome.html

I haven't been there in several years but I know they have camping and I remember it being a decent park, though not too many amenities.
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan
Old 04-10-2007, 05:25 PM   #18
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Re: Need Help With Trip Plan

Thanks for the tips. I considered Guajome -- it looks good. But I decided I might want a Motel at that point in the trip.

You can check out my trip plans at: http://calsurftrip.blogspot.com/
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