Camping in a Parking Lot

My last Alaska camping trip with my sister Kerry, brother-in-law Buzz and nephew Connor was years ago.  We were in tents, the last time I ever was in a tent — thankfully. We packed-up and traveled 50+ miles to the Kenai Peninsula.  Kerry and Buzz lived in a beautiful house on the outskirts of Anchorage.  They have wilderness area out their backdoor.  So on our 2nd night in the campground Buzz commented on how we were camping in a parking lot with boom-boxes and the ability to hear every neighbor’s conversation.  Buzz said something to the effect, “Gee isn’t it great to be out in the wilderness”.   We should have camped in their backyard.  It would have been quieter and as much of a wilderness experience.

There are campgrounds, RV Resorts, and parking lots.  The Coastal Dunes RV Park in Oceano, CA is a parking lot, with concrete facilities.  Might as well be outhouses.  Again, reservations are very difficult.  If you don’t make a reservation you may in up in a Wal-Mart parking lot.  Something, I have pledged never to do.  

Coastal Dunes, is not on “the coast”.  It is lodged between a busy street and the Amtrak train tracks.  I stayed one night.  The family “camping” next to me had a large 5th wheeler, 3 or 4 tents for the children/teenagers, and several small barking dogs.

So when I hitched-up to escape I heard a strange noise when driving away.  OMG it was one of the tents!  I wish I could have taken a picture, but suffice it to say, I was dragging one of the tents behind the Airstream.  Scout’s bumper had caught a tent cable.  Thankfully, I had my window down and no radio playing, or I would have made it to the road.  Yikes!  

I stopped, un-hooded the tent in front of the small pool where the kids/teenagers where frolicking.  Yo!  Is this your tent?  Yes.  Okay, sorry about that, glad no one was inside.  Have a great day!  I drove away.  Not my best moment, or great escape.

The world-wide web can make anything or anywhere look appealing.  So I am re-thinking my reservations.  Making a reservation for one-night and hoping to extend.  Pismo Beach is the RV Capital of the world, I have never seen so many RVs both on the road, in campgrounds and storage lots.  For those looking to buy a used RV, I would suggest visiting Oceano, CA.

I am now camping in a KOA with nicer facilities and the gift store has a nice selection of local wines.  I am re-evaluating my “camping” requirements, and thinking very fondly of my dear brother-in-law Buzz.

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