Friday, June 12, 2009

El Capitan State Beach Vacation

We've been avid campers over the years, an inexpensive and wonderful way to enjoy beauty up close - and surefire way to be grateful for a hot shower. But we camped almost exclusively at the great national parks. I think it was an experience at Pismo Beach as a college student (basically camping in a sand storm!) that made me shy away from the state beaches. But because of a short week, we headed to El Capitan just north of Santa Barbara. I couldn't have been more surprised...and happier. For some reason I thought the campsites just couldn't compare to the national parks, but I was wrong. The sites were terrific and the facilities were great. Of course a different part of nature to enjoy, but completely relaxing - and with a 2-hour drive home instead of seven or eight, I actually felt rested when we got back. There is something to be said about the pace of camping, where things are deliberate and inefficient and slow. You notice the stars in the sky, the thousands of rocks on the beach, and your own silly family sitting around a smokey campfire. In short, you feel more connected to the earth, in all its earthiness.

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