California part 2!
The Pacific Coast Highway and camping in Montaña de Oro
We left our hotel in Santa Ana (just outside of LA) at around 9 am on Wednesday morning. There wasn't much I felt like I needed to do in LA as far as touristy things go, but I did want to see the Hollywood sign. Logan, bless his heart, battled rush hour LA traffic to get me to the Griffith Observatory where we were able to see the sign and find a bathroom for a much needed pee break.
After posing for some super touristy pictures, we put Santa Monica in the GPS because it was the closest city on the coast and putting in "Highway 1" takes you north of San Fran, but not on Highway 1? Regardless, we made it to the Pacific Coast Highway where we were immediately greeted with one of the prettiest roads I have ever been on. It was also pretty cool to drive through Malibu and look at some of the coolest coastal houses I've seen. Eventually we made it through the cities and got onto "open" road.
California is so much greener than I expected! And I totally realize that its because they've got a ton of rain recently and that it doesn't always look this way, but it was incredible. The whole day looked like this (with more views of the coast than I could take pictures of) and Logan and I were in awe the entire time. We somehow got lost (I wasn't paying attention) and ended up on 101 but that meant I got my first taste of In-n-Out - verdict: delicious. We were spending that night camping in Montaña de Oro state park at an environmental site. This means we had to "hike" in our gear (it was only about 100 yards, but straight uphill). It wasn't a backcountry site - there was a picnic table and a bathroom and a fire ring (that we couldn't use because drought). It just meant that we didn't have neighbors & we had an incredible view of the ocean and coastline.
We got the tent set up and then went back down to the main part of the park to walk along the Bluff Trail (a super easy trail that meanders along the cliffs of the park) to catch sunset. The sun was in the perfect spot and the cliffs were incredibly gorgeous and I probably took 300 pictures in the span of 45 minutes. The temperature dropped really quickly and I was way underdressed in my tank top and shorts, so we cut our hike short and went back to our campsite for dinner. We had turkey dogs and chips and then took pictures of the stars (they were beautiful) before playing risk in our tent till we fell asleep. The next morning we had our signature camp breakfast - bagels and avocado and scrambled eggs - but this time we added bacon. We packed up and carried all of our gear down and got on the road at about 9:30!
Camping on the Central Coast is easily one of the coolest things I've ever done. We fell asleep to the sound of the waves, woke up to a bright blue sky and warm air, and had breakfast smelling the salt water. It doesn't get much better than that.