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Old 11-05-2009, 11:12 AM   #1
Mr Head OP
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Location: Orange County, CA
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Sand, Sun, and Sea... Err, Ocean

Last week or maybe it was the week before, Mike posed a question; asking if any of us were feeling a under-camped. I had just camped at the track a week earlier, but yes, I felt I needed some more. The proposed beach front site seemed like a nice change in the usual routine. Ralph and Mike always stir up an interesting camp. If Denise comes along there is usually a grand feed.
Denise was in, wit the menu set for an Epic Saturday evening meal:

various Italian antipasto
sweet potatoes and apples - baked
grilled vegetables
grilled salmon
pineapple upside down cake

I try to never miss one of Denise's' meals. I didn't, but, more about the meal when the time comes.

I made the mistake in thinking I could avoid some traffic by leaving Friday afternoon. I managed to get on the freeway from Huntington Beach a little before 3 PM. It turns out that in order to beat traffic, I would have needed to be a bit earlier.
Like maybe Thursday morning about 10 AM.
My early evening departure put me into the belly of the beast just in time to begin the long battle against the cell phone wielding masses heading home after a week of cube-dwelling. We were all twitchy.
Next time I think this is a strategy I need somebody to smack me.
The big traffic broke free for a bit but then came flooding back like so much dislodged seaweed at the beach. There we all were sloshing up and down the freeway. I finally had enough somewhere around Goleta and took the next exit following my GPS to a filling station. I really should have remembered to take some pictures here. The town were all out in force dressed to the nines with little kids towing mom and dad around. It seems the local businesses were conducting a trick or treat night. And I happened on it. Nothing like a couple of little princess-ballerinas towing a spike-heeled hooker in a catsuit with bulging bags of treats around, while the police direct traffic. I pulled up to pumps at an honest to goodness full-service, service station. Two real operational and semi-dirty bays; lifts, glass paned doors, tool boxes and tires. Wow! I thought these things were all gone. The rest room was clean, (probably a ploy to lure tourists in and sell them arts and crap), but the pump, pumped premium.
The kids seemed to really like big dirty motorcycles. I was by this time chasing dark so I headed back to the 101 and the campground.

As usual Ralph had reserved for our use the perfect campsite and three motorcycles were soon wallowing through traffic on their various ways there. There was a lot of lane sharing going on. I got to the campground in time to pitch my tent and get my soup warming on my little stove before the sun completely disappeared. Dinner is on, after Ralph gets back from food gathering. We fire up stoves. Chili and sausages on one, I have soup warming. I crack a bottle of wine and we’re styling.

Soon the air cools and it is cold, or at least feel cold and we shuffle off to our respective tents. I managed to not take any photos. Sorry no food pics, no camp pics. Nothing. My focus had been on getting the tent up, bag un-furled and dinner on. The camera remained safely packed away.

Saturday morning arrived with the loud and near-by freight train passing by what seemed to be overhead. It wasn’t. The shattered silence was merely the combination of empty gondolas, steel trestle and terrain, and maybe the speed. The last gondola appeared to be empty and possibly derailed.

I checked my phone for the time and found it was about 5-something. I rolled over only to finally “need” to get going an hour later. Still mostly dark, I dug out coffee, and got my breakfast going. My usual instant oatmeal coffee and granola. Yummy as they say.

I had decided the previous evening to check my map for the sand dunes north of here. I had a vague impression or cloudy memory of a Huell Howser’s show visiting the dunes and the “Cecil B DeMille Lost City”. I had read about this first years and years ago, and meant to get up there. This seemed like a good time.
I headed North on 101 as The other guys headed off to town to figure out some stuff and hit the maritime museum at Santa Barbara.

Heading North on 101, I took the 1 up the East side of Vandenberg to Guadalupe then West on 166, (W Main) to the dunes.

On the road, Saturday morning,

Ever wonder why California cows are happy? Two words; Palm Trees. Who wouldn't be happy?

More in a bit, gotta meeting to head off to...
"You don't go to Mongolia for the food." - Sebastian & Kim
2010 KTM 990 Adventure R
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:36 PM   #2
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:28 PM   #3
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It Had To Be Sand

So, I turn left onto W. Main wander a bit and end up here after crossing the gate. Hmm, drifted sand on pavement. Maybe I'll unhook the old ABS nonsense.

Some more sand shots,

And what I came to see. The remains or what we can see of the remains of the "Lost City". This is decomposing wood and plaster sets built in 1923 for the movie "The Ten Commandments" and directed by Cecil B DeMille. This movie is described as the "Titanic" of the silent era. Over budget and way, way late. But the result was fantastic I've read. The parting of the Red Sea was an epic. Not a whisper of that remains other than these plaster and wood bits.

The debris field is visible at this ridge. The public is discouraged from walking around out there so I went with that and kept to the road.

There are still sets under the sand and a few relics on display at the museum in town, (I had forgotten about this center in town or forgot to ask so I missed it.), next time I'm up this way, I'll bring hiking gear and do some sand exploring. The ranger was helpful in pointing out a lot of cool places to hike to.
For more information on the dunes, park, and the lost city,
Lost City

Looking back at the ocean over the sand,

And an artsy shot,

The other thing I got was a place for lunch. I managed to not find it. But what I did find worked.

By the time I got tired of watching Telemundo, and eating it was looking like I was going to be cutting my dinner date close. I hit the road.

Rows of food, and fog,

A quick stop at an overlook for the Channel Islands I grab a photo and high tail it for dinner.

Back at camp dinner prep is underway,

Dinner is cooked over coals and some of it under. Our neighbors stop by and we toast the evening. As the fire burns down we again retire to our tents.

The train interrupts my slumber, but I notice this one is not near so loud as Saturdays. I guess it is hauling passengers rather than freight. The time change overnight has brought early morning light so I feel like it must be time to rise and shine. Or at least get my coffee going. The usual breakfast follows with packing and breaking camp following that. We bid our farewells, and I'm off down the 101 headed home.
I stop just off the 101 in SB for fuel and an old man pit stop.

The cool part about this particular station is the on-ramp back to the 101. There is a nice crown in the road so my loaded and full tanked Adventure can take full fun advantage of this and wheelie onto the freeway ramp.
A couple hours later I pulled into my driveway. Amazingly almost no traffic.

For a quick little get away this was the ticket. I'd have liked to have gotten off into more dirt, but the several dirt roads I pulled into off the 1 were gated and locked, (I'd left my map of dirt at home). The sand on the pavement at teh dunes park was not my idea of ideal off-roading. In places that stuff was deep enough to have small ruts that would push the front wheel around. But, the sand was shallow enough that the pavement underneath acted as a bearing surface to get things sliding around pretty good. I had a great time and definitley need to head back up that way again. More exploring is required.
"You don't go to Mongolia for the food." - Sebastian & Kim
2010 KTM 990 Adventure R
My Life With The 990R
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Old 11-07-2009, 06:12 AM   #4
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