Time for a Facelift!

Welcome to the new and changing California Campin’! Over the next few months you will see changes as we create engaging, consistent content. We are so blessed to be able to camp in this magnificent state. People worldwide save their pennies in order to visit what we all consider our backyards. That’s the great part about editing and writing this newsletter. The challenge is that California’s abundance really shows in its outdoor offerings. There is so much to cover, 12 different geographical regions, 52 different counties to visit, 270 State Parks protecting our resources, 17 different National Parks, longest national coastline, hiking, fishing, biking….well you get the picture. We want to bring you the information you want about camping and RVing in California. We plan on adding wildlife viewing locations and events, some of the best day hikes, inside information on state and national parks, and some of the best events and festivals held throughout our golden state. In addition, we are adding a Kid’s Corner and highlighting some of California’s best food and wine.

However, we don’t want to throw the baby out with the water. So we would love to hear what you like and enjoy about this newsletter. What are your favorite parts? What do you want to see more of? And….what would you change and/or keep if you were the editor. So, if you could put on your California Tour Guide hat or your park ranger hat, what would you share? Let us know at campstories@camp-california.com.

Camp-California Pinpoints Parks with
Vacancy For Labor Day Weekend

There are still campsites and rental accommodations available at campgrounds, RV parks and resorts throughout California. But they’re filling up quickly.  Camp-California.com has identified at least 32 campgrounds that still had vacancies as of last week.

“The best thing to do is check Camp-California.com to see which campgrounds are located in the areas you’d like to visit, and call them to see if they still have space available,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, which operates Camp-California.com.  California campgrounds that still had campsites and rental accommodations available can be found at Camp-California.com.

San Francisco & California’s Central Coast

San Francisco is considered one of the greatest cities in the world for many things, including five-star dining, a happening theater scene, top-notch food and wine and world-class vistas. And, beyond the fifty-square-mile city, in the surrounding Bay Area, there’s so much more to explore, including Silicon Valley’s innovations, Marin’s Headlands, the Napa Valley’s vineyards, and Berkeley’s free spirit.

Find the perfect balance between urban and rural on California’s Central Coast . Artist enclaves in Carmel and Big Sur, celebrity residents, world-class resorts, an emerging wine region and a castle are part of the attraction, yet the atmosphere is relaxed and casual as you make your way along scenic Highway One from Monterey to Santa Barbara. Wildlife refuges, state parks and beaches inspire rambling hikes along the way.

Hearst San Simeon State Historic Monument is a
Jewel of California State Parks

La Cuesta Encantada, "The Enchanted Hill" high above the ocean at San Simeon, was the creation of two extraordinary individuals, William Randolph Hearst and architect Julia Morgan. Their collaboration, which began in 1919 and continued for nearly 30 years, transformed an informal hilltop campsite into the world-famous Hearst Castle -- a magnificent 115-room main house plus guesthouses, pools, and 8 acres of cultivated gardens. The main house itself, "La Casa Grande," is a grand setting for Hearst's collection of European antiques and art pieces. It was also a most fitting site for hosting the many influential guests who stayed at Hearst's San Simeon ranch. Guests included President Calvin Coolidge, Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, Charles Lindbergh, Charlie Chaplin, and a diverse array of luminaries from show business and publishing industries. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Featured Wildlife Viewing Area ...

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve


Rolling hills with coastal live oak and Monterey pine overlook tidal creeks and restored salt marshes in this outstanding Monterey Bay wetland, one of 27 national estuarine research reserves. Red-shouldered hawks, white-tailed kites, and northern harriers hunt uplands favored by black-tailed deer. The Five Fingers Loop Overlook is nearly surrounded by water and shorebirds, including marbled godwits, ruddy turnstones, and western sandpipers. Trees along the South Marsh Loop shelter acorn woodpeckers and spring-arriving hummingbirds, tree swallows and yellow-rumped warblers. Monterey pines serve as a rookery for great blue herons and great egrets. The marshes offer excellent views of common goldeneyes and buffleheads, deep water attracts double-crested cormorants, red-throated loons, ospreys, and brown pelicans. In spring and summer, pause on a boardwalk to watch the feeding behavior of leopard and smooth-hound sharks. Look for harbor seals and southern sea otters in the main slough channels.

A well staffed visitor center offers award winning exhibits that interpret the variety of habitats and species as well as a history of land use ranging from the former Elkhorn Farm dairy operation to current restoration, research and monitoring projects. Docent-led tours are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00am and 1:00pm.

The Habitat: 

The 1400 acres of the Reserve encompass tidal channels, salt marsh, fresh water ponds, riparian corridors, grasslands, including some rare stands of native grasses, and oak woodlands. There are nearby expanses of coastal maritime chapparal, sand dunes and open beaches.

The Experience: 

One of the largest remaining salt marshes left in California. The Elkhorn Slough watershed is located in the middle of one of the 25 most significant biodiversity hotspots identified on the world map.

Wildlife and
Where to Find It: 

Five miles of hiking trails over gentle sloping terrain, wheelchair accessible overlook with spotting scopes, bird blind, 3 board walks over saltmarsh and tidal channels.

Viewing Tips: 

More than 250 bird species, more than 115 species have been seen at one spot, on one fall day. High probability of seeing waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds in fall and winter, marine birds in winter. Look for songbirds in fall and spring, birds of prey are seen year-round. High probability of seeing sharks feeding in spring and summer. Estuary an important fish nursery. Five miles of hiking trails, paved overlook. Tours available.

For more information visit CaliforniaWatchableWildlife.com by CLICKING HERE:

Day Hikes for September ...

Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve

This 1.7 mile loop hike is easy. Trailhead elevation is about 1265 feet, the trail dips down to about 940 feet, then climbs back to the trailhead. Total elevation change is about 500 feet.

Sometimes I wish every park  or preserve district in the bay area had a botanic preserve like Huckleberry. It's an oasis, and an educational one at that. When many of the bay area preserves are unbearably hot, Huckleberry is cool and shaded. With so many plants in various stages of bloom and fruiting, if you love plants, it's definitely worth scheduling at least two trips to Huckleberry a year. In the late winter you won't want to miss pink-flowering currants, in the spring there are wildflowers and new leaves on the deciduous trees, in summer thimbleberries abound, and in late summer and early fall there's no better place to admire the huckleberries. Courtesy of Bay Area Hiker. Visit the website HERE.

Limekiln State Park

Recently reopened, Limekiln State Park may be Big Sur's best-kept secret. The park, located two miles south of Lucia, is in the steepest coastal canyon in the continental United States and holds some of Monterey County's oldest redwood groves.

To see the abandoned historic lime kilns for which the park is named, follow Limekiln Creek to the Limekiln trailhead. Walk across a bridge over the creek and take the left-hand fork. Follow Limekiln Creek upstream and take another footbridge across the creek. After that footbridge, the trail forks again; stay to your left. You'll soon find yourself standing amidst the gigantic stone and steel kilns that were used to convert limestone into lime.

To explore the area further and get a sense of the redwood lifecycle, return to the first fork and take the right-hand path. This will lead you up Hare Creek. You'll first pass through a grove of young redwoods (only a little over 100 years old) before reaching another grove of ancient redwoods at the end of the trail. Courtesy of Top Ten Day Hike of Monterey County.

Seven Falls

7 Falls (and 3 Pools) hikes are probably the most fun of all the Tunnel Trail hikes. Neither is easy, but both are fun because of the opportunity to go for a dip in the creek. Most people in some kind of decent shape can handle these hikes, but because of the rock hopping most people end up a little sore the next day.

The trail begins on a paved access road that the Edison Company uses. After a mile the road turns to dirt and you follow it just a little more toward the turnoff to Inspiration Pt. Instead of going to Inspiration Pt, you turn right and slosh your way up the creek to 7 Falls. The hike is about 2 or 3 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 800 ft. Courtesy of SantaBarbaraHikes.com

Dinos, Dinos, and More Dinos

Three different museums in California have opened or expanded their “Dino” displays. Pack up your little palentologists and take them on their own discovery adventure. Make sure to pack their own shovels and picks so they can go on their own “dig” back at the campground.

Fossil Discovery Center of Madera County

Opens Madera County’s latest museum is of mammoth proportions. The Fossil Discovery Center of Madera County recently opened to rave reviews with the fossilized remains of animals, such as sabre-toothed cats, Colombian Mammoths and short-faced bears, currently on display. The long road to opening the museum began a little more than 15 years ago when crews working on a new section for a landfill noticed an odd-colored rock. Scientists anticipated working for about two weeks to finish their examination of the area. However, 15 years and more than 15,000 fossils later, paleontologists continued to unearth the remains of dozens of species, some of which were new to science. The remains are on display at the Fossil Discovery Center adjacent to the dig site. This hands-on museum lets you touch the fossils, see the larger-than-life creatures that roamed the area and watch the paleontologists at work as they make new discoveries. Kids can also take part in a mock dig to uncover fossils just like the scientists who work there.

Dinosaur Hall at Natural History Museum

In July, the much-anticipated new Dinosaur Hall opens to the public at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The large scale permanent exhibition will be presented in two light-filled galleries—twice the size of the museum’s old dinosaur galleries. The Dinosaur Hall will rival the world’s leading dinosaur halls in sheer volume of individually displayed fossils; the size and extraordinary nature of the major mounts, including the world’s only T. Rex growth series. The exhibition features more than 300 fossils, 20 full body specimens, manual and digital interactives, and large format video. In addition to the T. Rex series (an adult, juvenile and baby), the exhibition’s standouts include an imposing Triceratops, a 68-foot long-necked Mamenchisaurus, and giant reptiles that lived in the oceans covering what is today California. Two-thirds of the full-body specimens have never been displayed before. The specimens that have been displayed have all been re-articulated in new and more dynamic poses.

Big Dinos Roar in Berkeley

Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science is hosting “Dinosaurs Unearthed,” a new interactive exhibition, on view now through January 1, 2012. With 10 robotic, animated life-size dinosaurs filling the Hall and its outdoor courtyard, museum visitors can walk among Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Deinonychus, Parasaurolophus and Apatosaurus. In addition to the animated dinosaurs, the exhibit features articulated full-size skeletons, actual dinosaur fossils and interactive multimedia stations that highlight the latest paleontological discoveries. For kids under 5, the Young Explorers Experience fun zone features a gentle dinosaur, fossil dig site and interactive games. “Dinosaurs Unearthed” explores not only the past, but also the present and future of paleontology.

Featured Recipe ...

Santa Maria Tri-Tip BBQ at Flying Flags RV Resort
Hosted by RVCookingShow.com

In this episode -  Taste of  Flying Flags - we hosted a live event featuring a can't miss menu and two wonderful personalities, fed a great group of guests, and raised a bunch of money for the Santa Barbara County Food Bank.

Known as California's BBQ, Santa Maria Tri-Tip turns out to be easy and delicious...as long as you know a few basics about cooking this iconic cut of beef. Watch as Flying Flags RV Resort* BBQ master Richard Boucher makes quick work out of this highly prized main dish.

And for dessert we were treated to amazing cupcakes direct from the   Enjoy Cupcake's   1964 Vintage Shasta Travel Trailer. They've got a few tricks to share, too. Tempting, huh? Check out their website videos HERE.

California Events and Fun Happenings!

Rose Bowl Flea Market Pasadena 2nd Sunday
Every Month
Palm Springs Village Fest Palm Springs Every Thursday
Joshua Fest Plymouth Sept 2-4
30th Annual Malibu Kiwanis Chili Cook-Off Carnival and Fair Malibu Sept 2-5
Cool Mountain Nights Mt. Shasta Sept 3-4
40th Annual Mountian View Art & Wine Festival Mountain View Sept 10-11
Surfin' Sundays Huntington Beach Sept 11, 18, 25
Old Time Bluegrass Festival Lower Lake Sep-11
11th Annual Lake Almanor Peninsula Arts & Crafts Faire Lake Almanor Peninsula Sep-11
Big Kahuna Triatholon Santa Cruz Sep-11
11th Annual Night of King & Queens Casino Night Fundraiser Manteca Sep-11
34th Annual Fresno Highland Gathering and Games Fresno Sep-11
Vintage Trailers at the Lake Rally South Lake Tahoe Sept 15-17.
54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival Monterey Sept 16-18
San Diego Bayfair’s World Series of Powerboat Racing Mission Bay Sept 16-18
Draft Horse Classic & Harvest Fair Grass Valley Sept 22-25
Lido Yacht Expo Newport Beach Sept 22-25
Clear Lake Splash-In Lakeport Sept 23-25
Big Bear Oktoberfest Big Bear Lake Sept-Oct 30
Fleet Week San Francisco Oct 6-11
6th Annual Joshua Tree Roots Music Festival Joshua Tree Oct 8-9
Paddles & Pumpkins Sand Drags San Jacinto Oct 21-23

There's so much more! Search the Calendar of Events for events throughout the summer! Or, plan now for the fall! You may find your next adventure there!


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