We looked for a campsite on the beach and between the high-demand time of spring break and just general attractiveness of this part of California, our options were limited. We ended up securing a site at Sunset Vista Campground which is run by the city of Huntington Beach, for four weekday-nights on our pilgrimage to here.
Backed right up to the beach, and just off the Pacific Coast Highway, it’s easy to see how the city can charge $70 per night, the single most expensive campground we have stayed at during our fourteen months on the road. The beach is spectacular, wide and softly sandy (you can see a peek of the beach to the left of our Airstream here above) and the ocean can lull you to sleep, that’s how close you are to the sound of the pounding surf and for beach-lovers like us, it was hugely attractive.
But let me add that we are literally camping on an asphalt parking lot with little more than one truck-width separating us from our neighbors (read: partying and comings and goings). There is electric and water but no showers or bathroom facilities for campers. This in not the place to come for quiet or the privacy at your campsite. You will find that on the beach.
Peter noted this is the absolutely best people-watching spot of our entire trip. Our campsite overlooks the city bike path and from bicycling, to pet-walking, to jogging, to walking, nothing comes close to the display of humanity that we observed here at the beach.
In 1925, Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaiian surfer, is credited with bringing surfing to southern California, here at Huntington Beach. There is a lively surfing presence here and each morning we watched wet-suited surfers paddle out in the ocean with dreams of the long ride in their heads. On one lovely evening, we were able to score a window table at a local restaurant and watch the sun set over the Pacific while dining with a good friend who we had not seen in years who had come down for dinner from LA. The sweetness of life.
Our one excursion away from the beach took us to Yorba Linda, California in our continued series of nationwide visits to Presidential libraries. Here we visited the library and museum (both currently under re-construction), the birthplace, and the gravesite’s of the 37th President, Richard Nixon, and his wife, Pat. We were sorry to miss access to the full museum and exhibits because each of our earlier visits to other presidential libraries revealed perspectives and insights that the memories of our youth had simply not included. This will remain hidden until a future trip.
Over the next two weeks, we will visit with friends who live around northern California and in wine country. We will relax in the company of friends whose love and support have sustained us on our pilgrimage.
Liz and Peter continue their pilgrimage to here, heading north from the beaches of southern California to wine country, in their Airstream.