Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jalama Beach

We arrived at the Newport Dunes Monday afternoon. Joe spend most of Tuesday at his office for meetings while I did some shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joes and a little clothes shopping as well. Wednesday we went down to Mission Viejo to see my Dad. He is on our Verizon phone plan and was seriously in need of a new phone. We got his phone and went to the nearest Verizon and picked out a new one for him. He was really happy to have a new one. We talked awhile catching him up on what we were doing and thenn headed back to the Dunes. We also dropped off our inflatible boat at our boys house as we didn't have any more room in our storage unit for it. Casey and Karol were there and we talked with them awhile.
Thursday morning we headed out and made our way to Jalama Beach Campground. We have been here many times on week vacations over the years and is one of our favorite spots. We have never been here this early in the year, The earliest was probably in early June. Athough the 14 mile drive from Lompoc down to Jalama is always pretty, it was especially beautiful this time. The hills were green with big patches of yellow flowers and some displays of some other colorful floweres. You drive through farm land, then the rolling hills and lots of twists and turns through the trees.

         Jalama has three levels. There are sites at sea level, some of which look right on the water. In fact, some of the sites use to have sand berms in front of them but they seemed to have been leveled so that you can now see the water from the camp sites. There is a midlevel that has good views of the water and then a top level that gives you the best view of the whole area. The top was filled and so we picked one in the midlevel which has electric.

Jalama is a county park and we were surprised when we got there as they are in the midst of making some changes. There is a large area on the lower level that is behind berms and the store,cafe and they are redoing that whole area. In fact some of the many trees have been removed. Also one section of the midlevel is being set up for 5 or 6 cabins. They are going to be around $85 a night and more on weekends in the Summer. Also they are going to go to a reservation system. Now they are first come first serve. We didn't have any problems getting in as it is still off season. However, in the summer, we have had to wait a day or two to get in. They have a system where you get a number and then there is a camp call  at 3 in the afternoon and they call numbers until the open spots are taken.  When we have to come back the next day we will stay at a campground in Lompoc. Usually you go the next day and a number of the people will have gone elsewhere and decided not to try again. The longest was three days and that was a time where Joe went ahead of time as he had more vacation time than me. I then came up on the train and got off at either Santa Barbara or Golets(did this a few times). It is worth it though as just a beautiful spot.                                                  

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