Ventura, California

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We have truly found the best view at a campsite since we entered CA.   When we were at Pleasanton, a couple staying next to us told us they were heading to Ventura to Rincon Parkway, a strip of blacktop along Hwy 1 that the County of Ventura allows RVs to stay at for $27 a night.  So we went online to check it out.  By the description people gave that had stayed there it was exactly that – a strip of blacktop a few feet off of Hwy 1 between the ocean and a railroad tracks that carried Amtrak trains every few hours.  With no hook-ups at the sites we decided to look a little farther.  On the same section of Hwy 1 were two actual RV parks run by Ventura County where some of the sites had full hook-ups.  We decided to check them out.  Hobson Beach was the first park.  It was very small and the hook-up sites were set back away from the beach.  Then we drove past Rincon Parkway to where a hundred or so RVs were lined up one after another parallel to the ocean on a blacktop space that just fit each RV.  There was enough room between the RV and the stone wall for a couple of lawn chairs but Hwy 1 was about 5 feet from the slide-outs on the RVs.  This was not for us no matter how close to the ocean we could park.  Going a little farther down the highway we came to the second county park, Faria Beach.  Again a very small RV park with about 25 sites without hook-ups and 10 full hook-up sites but these sites sat right up against the rocks that separated the RV from the waves.  We backed-up the 5th wheel with our back window about 10 feet from the waves of the ocean.  What a beautiful view for the next 6 days! Every day we watched dolphins swim by and watched the brown pelicans dive for fish.  Our neighbor saw a whale but we weren’t as fortunate.   The surfers came out at 7:30 in the morning and there were surfers still out after the sunset.  And the beautiful sunsets we enjoyed sitting in our RV.  We counted our blessings every day as we enjoyed so much beauty in the sea.    I hope someday we can return to this spot or find another like it.


If you noticed I didn’t say we found the best RV Park only the best view.  CA wants the money from the campers but don’t want the work to make things better.  What a shame!  This park I’m sure is full all the time in the summer months.  It was close to being full over the weekend.  It is a first come first serve park so many of the locals come on Thursday and set up tents on sites to save them until Friday evening when they bring their RVs to replace the tents.   And it is not cheap at $47 a night.  It is the first park in a long time that we saw so many young people and families with kids.  It was like a MN campground in the summer.  What was upsetting were people, young and old, not cleaning up after themselves, leaving their campsite littered with trash.  What happen to leaving your campsite cleaner when you leave it than when you got there?  The park had a camp host but evidently it was not their job to make sure sites were clean when people left.  We had so much broken glass on our site that we had to be careful where we walked until we cleaned it up.  After the weekenders left on Sunday we noticed there was trash in many of the empty sites.  When you have so much it is easy not to appreciate what you have.  I think the people who use the park all the time don’t realize how lucky they are to have such a gem.

The city of Ventura is a beautiful city.  We did a little exploring and of course went to a farmer’s market.  We bought fresh strawberries and oranges.  So gooooood!  But mostly we just walked the beach, walked on the road or took bike rides.  We decided that we would really enjoy the ocean before we headed east towards Arizona.  When we had visited the elephant seals one of the volunteers asked me where we were from.    When I said Minnesota he said I suppose you have just seen the 1 mile stretch of California.  He said most tourist think CA is 1 mile wide and hundreds of miles long, meaning that they are only interested in the coast.  He said there is so much to see in CA that people miss.  We do want to come back to see more of CA but the ocean will always be calling us.

California has so much beauty, of course the coast, but there were also the mountains and valleys, the majestic trees, the beautiful blooming flowers, the quaint towns and cities but everything was very expensive.  It was impossible to stay on our monthly budget.  We would have loved to stay longer and travel farther down the coast but our budget told us it was time to move on.

We leave the coast with sad hearts and slowly make our way across CA to Arizona.  Hope to see some beautiful sites along the way!