Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Toward Ojai and Lake Casitas

Art's checked our map, looking for a spot off the crowded beach for the run-up to new year's eve. There's a dense fog when we awaken in Morro Bay, but it lifts to reveal a morning of perfect clarity.

"Beautiful day," I say by way of greeting to a fellow camper. "Are you kidding," he responds. "In the 60s and dry on Dec 30? Should be cold and rain, but I'm not complaining!"

Weather changes favor us.

We gas up in Pismo Beach, which is just fun to say.

Outside Los Alamos, acres and acres of grapes--pinot grigio, pinot noir, and nebiolo.

The view from the truck feels like something out of Bonanza: saddle up, Little Joe. This is the Santa Ynez Valley, a refreshing landscape. We've been traveling the coast south since Beverly Beach State Park in Oregon, about 940 miles.

Mid-morning breakfast:
steamed green beans, carrots, apples, oranges, and Art's bday sausage from C&L

In the mountain foothills, heading down to Santa Barbara, we see coming toward us a vintage Rolls, top down, cherry red leather flashing in the sun.  It's a beautiful day.

We're aiming for the Lake Casitas Recreation Area and its 3.5 mile long lake, an angler's paradise. With 400 campsites, we're hopeful we won't feel crowded.

Every time we pull into a campsite with other people I say to Art: we are so spoiled. Accustomed to camping after Labor Day when kids and parents are back at school and work, this week we're in the thick of holiday family camping.

Nothing to do but set up and cook some organic chicken with spices over spinach and broccoli. Notice we keep eating the same things? Future post on Safeway organics will illuminate.

It's 70 degrees at sunset when we take a walk away from the playground...uh, campground.

And a fiery sunset.

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