Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What I Did on my Bummer Vacation!

As usual, I was able to sneak off of work a bit early. I was out of the office by 2:30 and despite some showers on my side of the hills, there was no traffic to speak of - it was enjoyable, in a schedenfreudey kind of way, to see traffic backed up going the other way. I stopped at the store to purchase food and get some firewood and then it was up the coast to the campsite.

The BAG had left for the campsite the night before and had done a rather tidy job of setting up the tent. With the exception of not putting the spine into the rainflap (thus its flaccidity in the picture), the thing was solid. We fixed that right up, which was very convenient when the thunder, lightening and rain came crashing down from the heavens. It really couldn't have been better timing. We had the afternoon and evening without rain (thus the fire) but the threat of the rain kept the campground almost empty. There were something like 39 campsites of which only about 4 were occupied and the whole campsite went dead at about 9:30. The BAG, who had arrived on Thursday evening, had enjoyed the entire campground to herself.

We made a fire, ate some roast chicken, and read books until it it became to dark to read anymore. The fire started to burn down, so we hopped into the tent. Once we were tucked in the storm hit (we were largely protected by the trees) and it pretty much went away by the next morning, so we were able to have a morning fire (I drank some beer) and then headed off to Small Coastal Town for a quick looksee. Some shopping, a visit to a saloon and then it was back down the coast to our second night's lodging in a tent-cabin and a real dinner.

As usual I shot a series of cruddy pictures of nature. The light was great and the photographer was worse. ;-)

Out of a ton of blurry shots of birds I salvaged the ones you see, but I spent most of my time trying to shoot the waves abusing the kelplets which hang on to the rocks. The BAG had, the previous day, spotted a couple of beaches that had really nice tidepools, so while I shot the pictures she kept hunkering down and turning her back to the ocean. Neptune was not on my side on this particular day, and thus we headed (as a couple) down to the tent-cabin. There had been an over-booking and the place was swamped. A wedding was about to begin and there was only one guy at the front desk who was being hammered with phone-calls, people rushing up to the desk, as well as handling (sort of) registration duties. At one point he forgot to put someone on hold when he walkie-talkied his grounds crew begging them to send an iron and ironing board to a tent that was "bugging him." When he returned to the phone they started yelling at him loud enough so that it could be heard in line. I felt pretty sorry for the guy and was all smiles when I finally got to the front of the line.

The upshot of the over-booking was that we got a better cabin then we would have (YAY!) and having been at the tent cabin before, I was clever enough to have brought a power strip and electric heater. We plugged the heater and laptop in (the place has wireless!), and read the rest of the day away.

Dinner at the restaurant and then sleep.

The next day was a trip back up the coast with more pictures of tortured little kelpies. I will certainly go back and try this again when there is enough sunlight to catch the kelpies in slightly less dark form. Then we took another quick stop in Small Coastal Town for a beer (for me) and to catch the 49ers game (for me). The game was already a rout and after it we took off up a little road that we had been told returned to the freeway. It did, after a lovely little detour, and we slowly made our way up the coast and then back over the hills.

At the top of the hill we stopped for lunch at a well-known (well known enough that there is a song about it) motorcycle bar/restaurant and with some regret headed down the hill to Big City to pull out some of our camping gear and spray the crud off it.

And that, my friends, is what I did on my bummer vacation.

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