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Title: Trundling up the California Coast #8 2014 Trip

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I'm entering the near past, not to dwell there (of course), but simply to begin to bring you up to the present. I left off in Blog #7 having arrived to San Diego to reunite with my soul sister, Diana and continue up the coast to San Francisco to rendezvous with Dawn and other friends. Dawn, Diana and I met when we all lived and taught at the Integral Yoga Institute in the early and mid-80s. We became best friends then, inseparable, and known by some as The Three Sisters.

After spending a good portion of Monday, June 16 on necessary chores like grocery shopping and getting the oil changed in San Diego, we finally got on the road just in time for commute hour traffic. In spite of this we made it to San Onofre State Beach, the first camping site we reserved, before dark for the first two nights of our journey north.

San Onofre State Beach

As good luck would have it, we began talking to our cordial neighbor Rich, an artist who has a gallery and lives in Carmel, and this was the beginning of a lovely connection which grew during our 2.5 days and 2 nights there. His pal Steve, also an artist, was set to arrive early the next morning, though only Rich was participating in a Pleinair event there. Steve lives in Carpenteria. (We asked him about Carpenteria State Beach and his response was that it's the safest beach in the world. We puzzled over this, but it later became clear to us.) Steve's intention for the trip was to fish. And fish he did. He landed quite a catch the following day and we pooled our food resources, and had a delightful dinner together, with Steve's fishing and cooking skills the main component of the feast.

Diana watching an artist in the Pleinair event.

Diana and Rich clowning around.

Rich (L) and Steve (R) getting the propane burners going

Sitting down to the feast

Rich told us a funny story. A new head to the CA Parks System decided some years ago to single-handedly eliminate nude beaches in state parks, beaches which had existed for decades and generations. There was one at San Onofre. Signs were put up by the Parks System prohibiting nude bathing, but they always disappeared. Finally a disgruntled nude bather took a sign, managed to climb to a very precarious cliff mesa and posted it in a place no one could get to, nor could they read the sign easily. Many years later, it still remains perched in that hilarious spot:

Nudity in the State Park System is prohibited.

After walks on the beach and a nice bike ride for me, we said goodbye to our new friends and continued on our way Wednesday, landing at Faria Beach Park in Ventura County for the night. We were parked less than 20 feet from the pounding surf and loved the sound show, which acted as a lullaby for us.

Faria Beach Park

The next morning, Thursday the 19th, we headed the further short distance to the sweet little town of Carpenteria and Carpenteria State Beach, just south of Santa Barbara.

Diana had tried to book reservations there online to no avail. Rich and Steve told us that only about 1/2 of the reservations are held by Reserve America, the agency that does the online booking. The others are held for people driving in without reservations. We lucked out and got a great spot for the night.

We had been in touch with another dear friend, Jnani who lives in San Francisco, a health professional who had to be in Los Angeles over the weekend to teach a program at Loyola University. She drove down from the City and met us at Carpenteria State Beach Thursday afternoon, shortly after we returned from the wonderful downtown Farmers' Market.

Jnani and Diana at sunset on the beach.

I'll finish the trek to San Francisco with Blog #9.

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