Seekin' My World

Brenda's wanderings and wishings

Coastal California trip February 1, 2018

Filed under: Bobcat travels,Modifications,Stuff I carry — Sierrashadow @ 2:17 am
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Sometimes this mountain dweller just needs to hear the surf. So I did a midweek trip to Capitola and Monterey. The beginning was a bit rocky because I spent two full days in the Apple store in Los Gatos. My laptop crashed while loading the new operating system. They had to flatten the hard drive twice but finally got it up and running. I lost about a months worth of data but that is my fault for not backing up more faithfully. $100 bucks for a second external hard drive would have been wise.

Once the trip really started it was lovely. The weather was just perfect. Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz.

Just a random pull out on Highway one before Big Sur.

The most beautiful place on earth, Julia Pheiffer Burns State Park. Too bad the shadow falls on McVey falls.

FYI – I stressed about getting a site at Veteran’s Park, a little known first come first served campground in Monterey. Let’s just say mid week in January, not a problem. I pulled in at ten a.m. and secured my spot, but even at 7:00 p.m. there were plenty. Capitola is a State Park on the reservation system, but even they had no problem adding a night to my reservation when I asked.

And for the mod fans, I needed batteries in my little red lantern which is neither little nor light, taking 4 D batteries (which nothing else in the camper does). I grabbed this funky light a friend got me as a joke. It is no joke! This thing puts out some serious light. I remembered I had seen a two pack at Ross Dress for Less (yes, you read that right) recently so I went to the one in Capitola and found them there. $8.99 for two. They take 3 AAA batteries which I carry a good supply of for headlamps, etc.

They come with two magnets on the back and I carry some tiny, tiny very powerful magnets.

By sandwiching the magnets on the outside of the window flap and the light on the inside they are securely up there in the bed area for nighttime reading. If you add little sticky back Velcro hook down the middle and they can hang off the loop strip around the top of the camper, or use screws as designed to mount (not in my camper – I keep it as pristine as possible).

Hand in ambient light.

Hand with light held 12 inches away, in mouth. Shadow of camera on fingers.

Off

On

And they are small enough to tuck into stray corners for storage and travel. Unlike the lantern which never had a good “Home”. I stuck one of these right by the entrance door so that I can get light without stepping into the rig and doing the overhead lights. Works well when I need something out of the couch storage.

I do have overhead lighting in the ATC but my house battery had been abused before we got the solar installed and is not holding a full charge. If I run the heat too much, the fridge fails just before sunrise. So every bit of house battery I can conserve on these early winter nights helps.

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Capitola week November 6, 2015

I took a little beach break last week and stayed at New Brighton State Beach near Capitola. The sites are pretty open and not very private so I pretty much rolled out of bed each morning, shut her up and took off for interesting places, usually pulling back in after dark. I LOVE how easy it is to set up the ATC. Pop six latches and lift twice.

Since I had the hang tag for a state beach, other parks let me in the gate for free and I used the opportunity to check out every little state beach and park I have never been in before. I drove down Highway 1 to Lucia because I wanted to check out Kirk Creek Campground that everyone raves about. It was pretty nice, but it seems it is now on a reservation system, not first come, first served like I had been led to believe. I took pictures of my favorite sites for future reference. The coast line was fabulous, but the weather was not the best. I was trying to beat the rain, but it was building up in the skies.

hwy 1

One of my absolute most favorite places is Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. The gorgeous cove with a tiny waterfall is spectacular. Good to see it still had water even after the drought.

julia perfectjulia selfie

My Bobcat patiently waiting my return from interesting places.

julia waiitnghwy 1 waiting

So even though I brought the full cooking kit, I found too many wonderful reasons not to cook. The fruit stands were still open and the fried artichoke hearts were heavenly. Zelda’s on the beach in Capitola has a $13.95 lobster night on Thursdays. Yumm.

food festCapitola dinner

I spent lots of time just soaking in the sound of the waves. I could hear it from the campground at night, but could also hear the freeway and sirens. Mixed blessing of camping so close to civilization. It rained as expected the one night and I loved the sound of it pitter-pattering on the aluminum roof. The Santa Cruz kids were having a little pre-Halloween fun with their surfing idol.

santa Cruz wavesIMG_2438

I have gotten things fairly well stowed by now. I learned if I move the Action Packer back farther on the bench it is corralled from sliding off by the step stool that I have velcroed in place near the back door, and if I keep a small box by the back wall it keeps the lights from being accidentally turned on. I made a vlecro strap that keeps the ice chest from sliding too much.

action packer spot little box to separateice chest strapped in

The greatest tool has been a strip of hook velcro with a hole punched in it, and a shoelace threaded through. I then use those to tie the various “pseudofabric grocery bags” that I pack in so they don’t tip. ATC put a strip of fuzzy velcro all around the top for their “cold weather pack” but since I didn’t get that, I have found other uses for it.

attach pointsbags tied up

I used to keep the folding chair on the little shelf under the window, but have discovered it works better on a trip to line up the bags of food and clothing instead, less shuffling around once I arrive. The couch has enough of a lip on it that it keeps the bags in place. I bought a bungie cord to keep the folding chair on the couch in transit.  I just ran the bungee under the support for the couch, it’s not attached, but works. The chair still rides up on the shelf when I am not on a trip though.

chair on couchbungee under support bar

And I discovered it fits well vertically in the back corner once I am popped up. Perfect for rainy nights when I don’t want it getting wet or stolen (it is a Strongback and those things aren’t cheap, but worth every penny).

chair tied up

I also got my potty box and stove strapped up against the wall so they don’t slide around. stove strapped inPB strapped in

I saw my first ATC sighting while driving my ATC at the entrance to New Brighton. I waved but didn’t get a response. They couldn’t have been WTWer’s or I know they would have been more friendly. That reminds me, I have to put on my WTW decal so others will know a kindred spirit when they see it.