Finally drove out of Ojai yesterday, July 20, at 3:15pm. Intended to leave at 9-10am. But… there were still items not completed. I did some tech support and set up a large fountain I’d made a year ago for a friend of 40+ years, who had invited Sherman and I to sleep in her RV for the last month. Went by the Ojai Business Center to have some old pots of former pottery mentors shipped to their daughter. To the bank.
My initial intent was to leave the week of July 4th. So… what happened in that two weeks? I’ll replay that in another entry.
From Ojai I went to Santa Barbara where I had 4 errands to do. Returns at REI and Ross. Some food from Trader Joe’s. Quick goodbyes and item handoffs to two friends. Drove out of Santa Barbara at 5:30pm.
I took PCH off of the 101 above Refugio Park. I’ve always taken The 101 until it branches off toward Cambria. I didn’t realize there was so much oil activity along the coast in that stretch. Starting about 7:30 I started looking for a place to stop and stealth camp. Sherman and I went down many a road that felt like there may be a spot calling… But, alas… no. We went out to Avila Beach. All the beach spots were full of big — like bus sized — RVs. Signs all over the place saying no sleeping or camping on the street. Minimum fine of $200. So, back to PCH and north. Nothing in Los Osos that said, “stay!” Could have stayed in business parking lots, but not the ambiance I’m looking for.
We wound up at 10:30pm on a road just inside Moro Bay Park, about 3 miles off the PCH, tucked in a little 50 ft deep entrance to a road into a Conservation Area. Perfect!

Slept well. Up with the sun at 6:30. Walked with Sherman a bit. This was an area of especially good smells for him. He was mesmerized!
A couple hours later we stopped at a small State Park to pee. There were signs on the bathrooms that because of the drought and to conserve water the facilities were closed. There were some HoneyPotties — strange name, eh? — lined up. The large one for wheelchairs was almost up to the toilet. Why was obvious when I went into a “normal” sized one and there was hardly room to stand, let alone sit.

We got back on the PCH and got off at the Hearst State Park across from the entrance to The Castle. I was looking for a place to just sit and relax for a couple hours. This wasn’t it. Not friendly feeling and it was still too cold to sit outside for long. However the Hearst State Park DID have it’s running water toilets in operation!

Anything strike you as odd in his bio here?
Headed north again. Passed Salmon Creek Trail and almost stopped, but didn’t like the parking area. A few miles later saw Soda Springs trail. Nice shade parking. We got all geared up for a 5-6 mile hike. About a half mile in, we turned around. LOTS of poison oak and LOTS of stickers. After we got out I spent 30 minutes taking stickers out of Sherman’s fur. Mostly little tiny green oval stickery seeds. So… no hiking in the southern Big Sur trails…
There’s no phone signal, but there is GPS. I looked at my EarthMate app and found a campground about 5 miles up a road. Once we found the road and headed in, it turned to dirt in about a quarter mile. It was slow going. We got to the end of the road at a campground that was swarming with mosquitoes. OK. Not this one! Back down the bumpy dirt road to the coast…

Was looking for a nice large turnout with some shade to hang out in for awhile. Nope. All sunny…
Big Sur is busy this week. Maybe it’s the time of year. The hotels are full. The campgrounds are full. The RV parks are full.
I saw a sign for Nacimiento Road. Ah… I know this road. I’ve slept about a mile in here before. This time I noticed that there are two campgrounds further in. Nacimiento at 11 miles. Ponderosa at 13 miles. And the road is paved! As we drove in I noticed a few nice spots on the road overlooking the ocean I could come back to if needed. We continued to Nacimiento Camp. Small, older BLM camp along the river. Maybe 10 sites nicely spaced. We stopped about 3pm in site 2. Near the end, nice and open. Level for the van.

Rested, walked a bit, and took a nap. Nice. Except for the flies. LOTS of little flies. They don’t bite. But they sure do buzz. They seem to love my ears. I think I’ll wash my ears. Right now in fact to see if it makes a difference. Hoping… No… that didn’t help. They must be homing in on the heat waves coming from the ears.
Looking forward to sleep at dark!