I’ve mentioned on a couple blog posts about the amazing self supported bike tour my husband I am embarked on about this time a year ago. We find ourselves talking about this trip all the time and pining to be back on the tour bikes exploring new areas. Since we are in Ironman mode this year we don’t have any bike touring planned, however we found ourselves with some extra time this weekend as we finish our last week of unstructured training off our half Ironman so we decided to go bike camping.
Some state campground have hike or bike sites so we confirmed with Doheny State Beach in Dana Point they did have these sites and learned at their campground it is a max of six people and are first come first serve starting at 4 p.m. for $6 per person and a check out time of 9 a.m. the following day. We mapped out a couple back up options such as taking the train home from San Juan Capistrano if the hike or bike sites were full.
We left Carlsbad around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and stopped for brunch before making our way to Dana Point. It felt good to have our bikes loaded up with gear and off on a mini adventure. It is so great how many people want to hear about where you are going and where you are coming from and can sense the vibe that they too want to be bike touring.
We arrived in Dana Point around 2 p.m. so we had to find a place to relax until we could check into the campground. Fortunately when we got to the ranger station we were the first to check in so our back up plan was not needed. We set up our tent and walked across the parking lot to the ocean to cool off. When we got back to the site another person was setting up their tent. His name was Gary. He told us he travels from place to place and lives off the land. He had just come from the recycling center where he made $70 for the recyclables he collected.
While Matt and I were eating dinner and playing Scrabble at the picnic table another traveler arrived. Rick had a fully loaded touring bike. He was on day 1 of a 2,000 + mile tour back to his home state of Ohio. He made the trip from Columbus, OH to Venice Beach, CA a couple years ago and stored his gear at his daughter’s house. Matt and I were drooling over the adventures he was telling us he has had over his life. In 1972 he toured Europe for 6 months and planned it out to be in Paris at the finish of the Tour De France where he saw Eddy Merckx win.
There was a Blues Festival in full swing at the state beach. During the day you couldn’t hear the music at our site but when we snuggled up in our tent it was as if the bands were right at our campsite. They played until midnight and then we were treated to all the people walking back to their cars. A guy working the venue also used the hike or bike campsite and set up his tent at around 11 p.m. Not the best sleep I’ve had in a while but the unknown comes with adventure!
We woke up around 6 a.m. to pack up and have oatmeal before hitting the road. I had an obligation at 2 p.m. back in San Diego so we pushed a little harder to get home early enough for me to get in a little siesta to make up for the lack of sleep the night before.
It was a great weekend adventure and cured our bike tour bug, well at least until we finish Ironman training and the event in September! Can’t wait to see what new adventures we come up with in the meantime!