Camp, Sweet, California Camp

We drove down out of Arizona’s Black Mountains and into California.


Even though the scenery hadn’t changed much as we drove past the Mojave National Preserve and through Eastern California, we knew we were almost there.

Something else had changed, too. For the first time in more than a week, we found ourselves in traffic. But even that, couldn’t dampen our spirits.

Exhausted and excited, we pulled into San Onofre’s San Mateo Campground at about 5 p.m. You’ll have to take my work for it because there are no pictures. Duh!
I guess we were kind of busy. It took a few hours to unpack the car and set up camp at our new home. We were all glad to be planted somewhere for a while, and what our campsite lacked in amenities (We had two tents–one for the grown-up and one 3-room tent for the kids, a makeshift kitchen and of course, a campfire!) it more than made up for in location, location, location.

We were not beachfront. San Onofre’s bluff top campsites are little more than a parking lot with no running water or amenities, and while wasn’t opposed to hanging out with the surfers, late night parties and no showers were not quite what we had in mind.

There are other beachfront site in Southern California, but they require a letter from God and the foresight to make reservations 7 months in advance, one second after the sites become available. So we stumbled upon San Mateo, just outside of San Clemente.

We couldn’t see the Pacific, but we knew it was close. We could hear it. And from what I read it was just a short mile or along a nature trail to the beach (more on that later.)

We grabbed some food supplies…including wine and beer from Ralph’s, a local San Clemente supermarket and we settled down to a candlelight dinner of cheeseburgers (in Paradise) just as the last light disappeared to our west.

We fell asleep, listening to waves roll and crash to shore, and dreaming of days at the beach.

Tomorrow: A day at the beach…sort of.

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