June 7, 2015

Hearst San Simeon State Park

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away"

As we live only a few miles from San Simeon State Park and our beloved Washburn Campground...what better place to "walk the fox" and enjoy all of it's comfort. Being able to join our dear friends Sonny and Judy, made this mini road trip even more worthwhile. 

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 and no working water spigots due the drought. Just no's.

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, 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. 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. But the biggest takeaway is the many opportunities for some quiet time and relaxation with a fine vintage "muscle relaxant" at hand.

And while we spent these few days enjoying our evening campfires, we were able to provide a warm rest stop for a group of "homeless wanderers" and their entourage of 4 legged kids... providing us a fun evening surrounded by the best of friends. With the backdrop of a healthy campfire, our laughs and cheers quietly echoed atop the plateau until the bell for last call rang.

The memories of this short excursion will now have to last until our late summer getaway. We will again park our trailer and slowly outfit it for our next trip up to the Pacific Northwest. Between now and then, Imkelina will celebrate her retirement and enter the much desired realm of "re-firement"...and fire it up she will.

At Waypoint 35.5836° N-121.1217° W