After the mostly tranquil train ride (except for one poorly parented relentlessly screamingfordonuts toddler who seemed not to be bothered by her screeching while staring at their smartphones), I was met at the train station in sunny Santa Barbara by Professor Angel Boy and we stopped for lunch at an organic foods cafe.
We made an unscheduled detour because he wanted to check out the surf at Morro Bay, and because it’s always really all about him, that’s what we did.
I’m not much of a seagull lover, but this guy was too photogenic to ignore.After a brief surf session, we continued to Montana de Oro State Park, six miles southwest of Morro Bay and seven miles south of Los Osos on Pecho Road.
It’s fairly rural and rustic, but SO beautiful. We set up camp and were able to manage a late afternoon hike.
With the sun low in the sky; clouds and fog actively moving over the tops of the mountains, it was serene and enervating at the same time.
Quail are everywhere and for a while, their melodic conversations were the only sounds we heard. These guys were walking around directly outside my tent.
Later that evening, after a relaxing fire and glass of wine, we heard the unmistakable scream/growl of a bobcat across the canyon.
At that moment, life was perfection. The only way it could have been better was if tugboat man wasn’t oceans away and not able to enjoy our holiday.
Little did we know that in a few short hours, in sharp contrast to this beauty and tranquility, we would endure the WORST EVER camping experience of our lives.
As we settled down to a good night’s sleep under a star-filled sky, a group of approximately twenty college students set up their camp nearby and proceeded to drink and yell and party LOUDLY until 4:30 a.m. in spite of the 10pm-7am quiet time rules.
Apparently, nobody, including us, got up to inform the camp host or the rangers of this HELL we had to endure, but we all complained to him the next day.
However, at approximately 3:30 a.m. just as we were dozing, or trying to, during the bacchanal, three fat raccoons furiously attempted to tear apart the locked food cabinet next to our picnic table. My son had to get up and shoo them away, and as he put the food in the car, one of them tried to sneak in.
It was an eventful night.
Right after THAT little adventure, a bobcat screamed so close we thought it was within feet of where we were sleeping, and figured that he had an altercation with those raccoons.
No one slept much after that, because we wanted to stay awake in case we could see him walk by.
No luck with the bobcat sighting, but as I unzipped my tent in the morning, see who was looking at me? An beautiful gray fox. These aren’t the best pics because I was in such a hurry to snap them before he ran off.
What an astonishing gift to sort of make up for the rude frat boys.
So far, quite an adventure, don’t you agree?
Part Three: A Ten-Mile Hike