Tuesday, February 21, 2017

O'Neill Regional Park

I am writing this on Monday February 20. I have not written in a while. We had a fun time in Orange County, California and will write about that in coming entries. We moved north of the Los Angeles area on February 16. The drive up through the city was without incident although very nerve racking. We are now in the area of Ventura, California. We have found a nice little campground up in the hills on a small lake (that has grown significantly since we have been here.) As you may have seen on the National News, California was hit by another major storm on Saturday. We did see some strong winds and torrential rains, but we are very safe.

The only problem with this campground is that we have no cell signal and no OTA TV. We have been doing a bunch of reading and relaxing after our very busy time in OC. We hope to move out to the coast in the next couple of days. Now, back to the blog...

We arrived at O'Neill Regional Park on February 9. I was dreading the drive into the mass of humanity that they call Southern California, but it went very easy and without incident. We did end up taking one toll road. They do not have toll gates, so you have to go on line to learn how much it cost to drive on the road. For a 4 mile trip with a trailer was $7.70. We decided to avoid toll roads the rest of our time in SoCal.

I did make one observation that held true throughout our time in the area. There seems to be no enforcement and therefore adherence to the traffic laws. These drivers are not happy unless they are exceeding the speed limit by at least 20MPH. In the state of California, a truck and trailer are limited to 55 MPH. That creates a huge disparity between our speed and the crazy drivers on the road. It is not uncommon to see cars exceeding 100 MPH. It is just crazy! I will say that we saw very few accidents, so they must be fairly good drivers. I would think the business of repairing automobile brakes would be a good opportunity in SoCal.

O'Neill Regional Park is nestled up in the Tabuco canyon on the eastern edge of the county. There are some large hills that run parallel to the coast and provide some commanding views of the area. This park is an oasis in the madness of OC. We had booked a week and enjoyed our time there. We paid $20 per night for a no hook up site. Our solar worked well and we only ran our generator once. We did have a water spigot about 10 yards from our site so water was very easy. They have some huge pull through sites, #14,15, 16 that are over 100 feet long. If I was coming back, that would be my choice. Our site # 56 was fine.

There is a creek that ran next to the campground:

The forecast looked like rain was on the way, so I got up on the first day and took a hike up into the hills. I was hoping to get a view of the beach about 10 miles away. I walked up the Live Oak canyon trail. It was very steep, but I really enjoyed the hike. I took a few pictures along the way, but was disappointed when I arrived at the top of the ridge to see fog covering everything west of me. It was still an unexpected treat in this mass of humanity.

I ended up hiking about 4 miles and really enjoyed it. The next day it rained and the trails were closed, so it was good that I took advantage of this day to make the hike.

On Saturday we went to see the Mission of San Juan Capistrano. We did not take the tour, but enjoyed seeing the old mission. We then went down to the coast to see the ocean. We stopped at Dana Point and took a walk on the beach. It was a decent day and there were a bunch of surfers in the water.

There were some interesting cliffs by the parking area.

We then drove on down to Oceanside. On the way we saw the now shut down San Onofre Nucular plant.

It was a nice outing and we enjoyed seeing the Pacific Ocean. We had a few primary reasons we ventured into Orange County. I will write about those experiences in my next entry.

Thanks for reading.

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