Jaded out of Big Sur

Trip Start Sep 11, 2009
Trip End Oct 21, 2009

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, October 9, 2009

It was getting to about 4pm, so our next destination was the campground for the night. Our aim was the Limekiln State Park, which is only 12-15 miles away. Unfortunately, the park was closed due to Chalk Fire! Nevermind.... we had a back-up plan, which was a campground 2 miles further down.... which happened to be FULL!! I got down and talked to the campground host, who told us there was another campground 5 miles further south, and 2 small campgrounds behind the mountain. Else, the next best bet would be 40 miles down at San Simeon! I asked about motels and lodges and was told that the next one was about 8 miles south, and could expect to pay $185-$250!!! We continued to the next campground, which was unfortunately also full! The area around the Plaskett Creek campground was heaving with people and traffic!! Apparently, there is a Jade Festival going on.... I didn't think anything of it.

We continued further south, towards the Treebones Resort. We thought we’d try our luck and see if they perhaps had RV sites available, as these "resorts" often do. Treebones Resort turned out to be a rather nice resort and obviously didn’t have any RV sites. So we thought we’d find out how much they would charge for the night. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any room either. We did however discover that the Jade Festival is a HUGE thing in Big Sur and everything around the area has been booked out for months. So we are best off driving about 45 minutes south to Cambria.

Oh my... it looks like we are really getting ahead of schedule quickly... and we got “jaded” out of Big Sur. We were still doing very well with the daylight (it was about 5pm), so we quickly decided to just head down to the Hearst San Simeon State Park, where we knew there were campgrounds (although we did not know if they would be available!). Worst comes to worst, we were confident we would find a motel room slightly further south in Cambria.

The drive didn’t take as long as we’d imagined, so we even managed to stop at the Elephant Seal Reserve near Hearst Castle. The beach was FULL of elephant seals!!! They were mostly sleeping on the beach, but some were playing on the beach and others were playing in the sea. It was really fun watching them, just animals in their natural environment. They are so cute and very funny! They do make really rude noises though! Hahahahahahahahahaa!!

We then passed by a row of motels and inns before arriving at the Hearst San Simeon State Park. Yeeeaaayyy!! They had loads of availability, but it costs $35 per night! I thought it was rather steep, considering that there is nothing very special about the campground. Furthermore, the park does not have any food services, and no store either, so we would have to drive out for food.

We decided to go back and check out the motels in San Simeon. Surely we could get a motel for not very much more than $35!! Shock horror!!!! The motels were asking for about $95 inclusive of taxes!!! No wonder the campground is charging such outrageous fees!!! Finally, we hit a winner at Silver Surf Motel (from where I am now writing), at $60. Perfect! I think the benefits of a motel over a campground outweighs above and beyond the additional cost of $25!!!

We then took a walk along the “strip” of motels, checking out the restaurants and settled for the Sunset Grill over at Motel 6, where Azrael had a delicious chicken and garlic alfredo pizza, and I had a deliciously tender rack of baby back ribs. The pizza was interesting.... they used garlic alfredo sauce in place of the normal tomato marinara sauce. Delicious but very rich and filling!!!
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