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written from our kitchen table & overlooking the Pacific Ocean off Highway 1 (Saturday June 21st)
So much for packing small amounts of winter clothes. It’s not even July yet and I’m freezing my butt off in northern California. My fingers are getting numb just typing this. I woke up this morning and as I write I’m looking out the window at the Pacific Ocean. I suppose some people with more prestige have this kind of view all the time, overlooking the ocean, but to me–it’s impeccable.
Sometimes it’s difficult to slow down enough to recognize things when they come into your life.
For instance, right now I’m looking out at the ocean. It’s vast, huge beyond my wildest dreams, and yet it’s still hard for me to realize how small I am. How big is God that he created everything here? I just refuse to believe it happened by accident.
The ocean is beautiful. I believe in purpose. I believe in intent. I believe in God. He’s here with me, inside me.
Gosh, it’s so cold.
Today is supposed to be my lunch meeting with Jia. I don’t know if we’re going to make it. We may just hang out here longer today. It’s breath-taking and we paid for it.
I’m still giddy thinking how we got this spot. We had been pulling over every other mile basically along the highway at all of the scenic overlooks.
We pulled over at one called Vista Point and out of nowhere this guy comes up and gives me a bear hug. It was Ben, my brother’s old neighbor in Manhattan Beach. What are the odds? He spotted us earlier in the day, before exited to visit a castle, and pulled over when he saw us again at this scenic overlook. He told us we were an hour from Big Sur, where we hoped to luck out with a campsite.
For some reason as we drove down the road, I felt lucky. I just knew we were going to find a sweet place to camp. After we got on Highway 1, we realized that people book these sites along the beach up to 6 months in advance. Wow.
Now I see why, but we pulled over at every state park along the way to try our luck. We pulled into one park tucked back into the woods and the sign said “Full! Full and full!” Are they full though? Haha, yes they were.
About five more miles down the road we came across another campground, and instead of being nestled in the forest, this campground perched right next to the Pacific.
But, it also said campground full.
I pulled over and told Alyssa, “It’s so beautiful, it would be a shame not to try.” She agreed and asked if she could stay in the car. I walked across the highway and into the little campground. I spotted a few empty sites but noticed little reservation cards on each one of them signifying a person would be taking them tonight.
I found a couple outside playing with their little boy and asked them if all of the sites were taken or if they knew. The guy told me that these sites book far, far in advance. But the first time they found it last year, they got really lucky and pulled right in. I asked him if the highway shoulder where the RV rested now could be used to park over night. He said he didn’t know, but the worst that could happen would be for a cop to pull over and ask me to leave.
I agreed, and decided to consult the camp site host first and see if perhaps there had been any cancellations. I walked over to his RV and read the sign on the door. “Keith?”
“Yes? I’m here” He answered the door in his park ranger outfit.
“Yes sir, my name’s Heath, and me and my wife and driving up the coast in our R…I know your sign said the camp ground was full… But um… I was wondering… If sometimes people cancel ya know and if there might be any spots available?”
“Well son, this is actually your lucky day. I had a guy reserve three nights and this is supposed to be night number three and he still hasn’t shown up yet. I was going to give him the benefit of the doubt, but it’s been two days already. It’s yours. Site 25.”
“Wow, thank you so much.”
We had scored. BIG.
I sprinted up the hill and across the Pacific Coast Highway to the RV. I awkwardly danced up and down in front of the window giving Alyssa a thumbs up and smiling. She looked a mixture between really excited and terrified that I was dancing in the middle of the road.
“We got one babe!” I said.
“What?! No way! How did you do that!?”
We made tacos and skillet queso for dinner on the stove top. Alyssa said it was the best queso of her life. We’re out here with no electricity, which means dry camping. It’s what you do when your RV isn’t plugged into electricity.
So far we’ve only spent two nights like this. Both in state parks and both nights the temperature dropped pretty low, even though it’s mid June. I’ve really enjoyed dry camping. A lot M of the people are in tents and outside with fires late at night. It really feels like camping. But unlike the tents, we get to come inside our RV and relax in a giant bed. Okay, okay, it’s glamping. But I love it.
To be honest we really aren’t the roughing it types. But we also aren’t the highrise in the city type either. We did trade a life of living in regular sized apartments for a life of living in a 29 foot RV, though. That has to mean something, right?