July 5, 2008

Washburn Re-run and San Simeon State Park

Washburn Campground in San Simeon State Park is referred to as the primitive campground within the park boundaries. It is approximately 1 mile inland from the beach on a plateau overlooking the Santa Lucia Mountains toward the east and the Pacific Ocean facing the west. And primitive it is…by a "typical camper’s" standpoint…access only via a gravel road, limited grass areas, pit bathrooms, no showers, no hookups, no, no, no. But not surprisingly...the campground does bring to memory ones "primitive" desire toward experiencing the land and a natural beauty so rare to find these days….spectacular ocean views, rolling hills dotted with native plants and flowers, unique wildlife photo shoots and of course, our own brilliant sunsets are just some of the offerings in this tranquil retreat.

A hidden jewel on our central coast and this destination offers far more than just cooler temperatures during the peak months. In the off season when the summer crowds end, you can expect a stay offering some well deserved solitude, as only a handful of campers choose to visit Washburn. Witness a wildlife fashion pageant as deer, turkeys, coyotes, bobcat, raccoon, rabbits and those pesky squirrels strut their natural walkways daily. You can also walk among them via the 3.25 San Simeon Trail Loop as it meanders through five different habitats. Stop and take a break under the shade of a massive oak tree with its own patio of log benches.

And a short hike down the hill will lead you to your own sandy beach...filled with hidden moonstones, driftwood from distant shores and sheltered tide pools with it’s own saltwater communities. Offshore, you may see a feeding otter, the curious harbor seal or a migrating grey whale or two.

Cooler weather, rugged coastlines, vibrant forests, blue ribbon trout streams along with less crowds and cheap diesel will be our plan for the summer. We begin a five week loop trip starting in northern California, up the southern coast of Oregon, crossing to the central part of the state and working our way back down toward Cambria. And the only activities on our itinerary all begin with the letter “relaxation”…fresh Dungeness crab, Pacific sunsets, river rocking, tossing flies and bottomless wine glasses.
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