Monthly Archives: April 2017

Leo Carrillo State Beach Park, CA

On Sundays, I like to take a rest day and check out the local church, if any. In 1988, I would just book a motel for 2 days, but by booking for just 1 day this time, then riding a short distance on Sunday, I could stay at the famous Leo Carrillo campground that other travelers had been raving about as the best of the state parks.

Gates of Life sign
In the morning, I went to the “church” across the street at 9:30 am, but nobody was home.

So I went back to my room to watch an online sermon from my home church. Then I went off in search of provisions.

Tressierras Supermarket
The grocery store turned out to be a Hispanic market with fairly good prices.
ceviche and fruit
I almost got the ceviche for $4.99. I did get the fruit, which says 8 ounces, but really, it seemed to be a pound. I ate the fruit right outside the store, and felt somewhat full.
street taco special
But I couldn’t pass up the $4.99 lunch special – 3 small tacos (choose any meat), rice and beans. I finished it. Hey, I’m cycling.
outside hueneme
With the Mexican market and other stores around, there was definitely an LA feel to the town. But a few miles out of town, the landscape turned into fields being prepared for strawberries, and dry military land.
missile park
There was a missile and aircraft display park out in the middle of nowhere.
Steve Winfrey
Another rider pulled up to me and we started chatting. There was a headwind, but I was just taking my time. I fumbled for my camera and got a picture of Steve pulling away. Steve Winfrey, 7-time RAAM contestant. He looks small in this shot, but in a few minutes, he looked a lot smaller.
falling rocks sign
When I see this sign, I can usually ignore it.
fallen rocks
Not this time. The rocks were sufficiently large that I got off the bike and walked through the minefield. Triathletes just zipped by me in the car lane, but I wasn’t so brave.

When I checked in to Leo Carrillo, I noticed that all the rangers, male and female, look like models. Surely, they didn’t hire by looks? Or was it just southern California? The Hiker/Biker (H/B) site was $10, and I was given a map to follow. I knew it was in the vicinity of the RV dump station, but there were several campsites there. I decided that a certain unmarked site must be my area.

This was my campsite at Leo Carrillo State Beach Park. Actually, not really.

The first people I met there were Trevor, Griffin, and Mark, 3 college students from Riverside on semester break. They were in site 102, adjacent to mine. Trevor and Mark were theology majors. Mark was considering going into ministry, and was also getting married in September. They were the advance setup team; 3 more were coming with the food, later.

Trevor Griffin Mark
L-R: Trevor, Griffin, Mark.

Some time later, some young women pulled up into the other side of my campsite, and I realized that I had taken the back entrance to site #1, not the H/B area. I apologized and assured them that #1 was theirs, and went back to the check-in station to ask where the H/B area really was.

The group of 10 was from the Dream Center, a ministry serving downtown LA. They were all about to graduate from the program, and wanted to have an outing before they all scattered. They’re from various parts of the country – as far away as Chicago and North Carolina.

Dream Center Crew
I didn’t get a good picture of the group from Dream Center, because they were busy setting up their tents. Here are the names I remember, but probably would guess wrong if I tried to identify individuals: Angelica, Gabby (Gabrielle), Emily, Colleen, Shiloh, Sarah, Felicia, Kassia. Plus two whose names I didn’t get. If anyone from the group sees this, could you please correct my spelling in a comment?

When I returned to the general vicinity, I noticed 2 guys in the bush at a table. THAT was the true H/B site. I started shuttling my things over. One of the young women asked if I needed help, but I said I could handle it.

Charlie and Daniel
Charlie (dark glasses) and Daniel weren’t actually staying over, just resting. They were meeting friends at Sycamore campground up the road.
chopper bike
This was Charlie’s bike.
This was the only guy I ever met with a garden on his bike. There are sprouts for eating.
dragon ornament
Charlie also has a dragon made from recycled materials on his fender. It’s a craft made by indigenous people in Mexico.
Hike and Bike marking
Since I had trouble finding the unmarked Hike and Bike area originally, I marked the trail with a piece of chalk I had brought with me.
For dinner, I had 4 thick pieces of dry salami, with the remaining package of 4 King’s Hawaiian Rolls. Moist and soft bread, infinitely better than bagels. I’ll have to remember that for the desert.

It was actually a good thing that I mistakenly took that campsite. Otherwise, I would not have met all those people.

The bathroom complex, with (marginally) hot showers, was 190 steps from my site. Why did it always seem to be 200 steps away, at every campground?

Mileage: 23.3 (rest day)