The photos below are what we saw.
photo above is the de facto view out of Thor during our transit
of the LA basin. Above, we are on US 101 near the center
of downtown. Note the graphics on the retaining wall.
Given the demographics of the area, it was a true miracle that
the painting was not tagged with gang graffiti.
passed plenty of these: accidents clearly due to cell phone
caused inattention to driving. Every accident, no matter
how small, creates a steady stream of rubber-neckers and
subsequent slow traffic. Note the BBQ near the left of the
far side of the San Fernando Valley near Westlake Village we
spotted this really nice landscaping. This is NOT standard
CalTrans issue, so it is unclear who was responsible. But
if the creator is reading this page then to you I say "good
Beach is close to nothing and we had to traverse the coast range
to get to the beach. The beach is just a mile from Point
Conception. I did not know about this place, but rather
stumbled upon it while looking at some maps. The camp site
was full, but Kathleen persisted and someone cancelled, so we
got their spot. Truth be told, other than Pismo Beach,
this is the first time that we have camped on a California
roof is visible as the last vehicle before the railroad
bridge. We were somewhat surprised by the presence of the
tracks, but after some reflection we realized that this is THE
coast route used by Amtrack. Indeed, we saw multiple
trains pass our location. They all slowed for the bridge.
the view out of the camper door.
bank was persistent. It only got thicker and closer after
dark. At sunset we watched the fog roll over the top of
the hills and crawl down to the beach.
Beach is well known to the locals in the area and is very
popular. It is a big beach and it has both day use and
camping areas. If you decide you want to check it
out, check campsite availability online before you
go. Kathleen's efforts resulted in us getting the last
Jalama Beach, we headed inland to Solvang to check it out.
Originally a Danish "settlement", it now is a big-time tourist trap.
Many of the buildings have a European flavor. And speaking
of flavor, we sampled the wares at the bakery and they were
draft horses pull the local trolley.
down the main street was enough to satisfy my jones for tourist
things. We walked to the old Spanish mission to check it
out. Above is a view of the valley below the mission.
mission was built by the Spanish in 1800. This arch
is part of the original building.
mission was damaged in the frequent earthquakes in the area, but
it has been rebuilt per the original specifications.
second floor serves as residences and office space. Note
the nice fountain.
Solvang we continued north on US101 to Pismo Beach. The
"normal" campgrounds were full, but there was room on the beach
at the Oceano Dunes State Park. Thor is made for this sort
of thing so the sand presented no challenge to us. That
could not be said about other vehicles. We saw many stuck
vehicles. One pickup got stuck outside our camp and the
clueless driver decided that the best thing to do was nail the
accelerator. That does not work so well in sand, so
needless to say he sank. Undaunted, the pedal was to the
metal until a fire started under his hood. They soon
extinguished the fire, but the truck was still there the next
were tons of trailers and toy haulers. How many get stuck
is a mystery, but if the pickup dude from the previous night is
any indication, then most of them get stuck. At dusk, the
wind was blowing strong. So strong in fact that it was
eroding the sand underneath Thor's tires. Many times
during the evening we felt the truck shift and sink and the sand
blew away the support from underneath the tires.
Next morning it was mostly clear and calm.
We could almost see across the bay.
careful and you can see the trenches dug by by the wind around
the tires, particularly in the rear.
stop at the grocery store I discovered two broken bolts on the
rear tool box rack. We found an Ace Hardware close-by and
got the parts we needed. Above, Kathleen's girly fingers
were small enough to set the nut inside the square tubing.
Oddly, the 2 bolts were shattered. One of the bolt stubs
is visible next to the blue masking tape. These were grade
8 bolts, so a substantial amount of force would be necessary to
shear them. I am guessing that I tagged the tool box on
one of our previous off-road trips.
one night at Pismo Beach we headed inland to Pinnacles National
Park. En route through the rolling hills we encountered
this fellow on his bicycle. It was about 100 degrees
outside so he must have been rather uncomfortable.
Pinnacles is an infrequently visited park for good reason - this
is about all there is. If you are a hiker (and don't mind
100 degree temperatures) you can walk up to the pinnacles.
Mark the Pinnacles box as "checked".
continued north over the rolling hills toward a campsite with a
shower. Along the way we encountered this land slide that
filled this road cut resulting in a bypass.
it to SR154 and turned east and encountered.....traffic.
The traffic jam was monumental and lasted for over an
hour. It was still very hot and there were cars
overheating everywhere. We discovered later that the cause
of the traffic jam was a brush fire at the top of the pass.
crest of the ridge we could see San Luis Reservoir, our
destination for the night. The hills that were green from
winter rains are now golden from being baked in the relentless
selected the state park at San Luis because they had
showers. No water at the sites and no electricity, but a
shower was needed so it was a fine choice.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2017, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.