What a trip, that trek and everything encompassing my visit to California. It was my first time and California really lived up to it’s reputation and everything that I thought it would be. I loved the skateboards, I loved the rebels I saw along the way, I loved the weather and fell in love with every statepark along the way. I loved the view from Point Bonita and loved the bear warnings in Yosemite. I wasn’t prepared and it was a worthy lesson. So for anyone who needs to know how to make the trip read on.
Equipment – Camping in the stateparks can be a wonderful experience. Different stateparks and statebeaches offer varying facilities but it’s good to know before hand what you will expect. There are public utilities at most of the stateparks which you will be able to access, so that’s taken care of for a camper. A tent which you need to assemble in the day time (for the first time so that you know how it’s done). I was here in the winter so dark sets early and it was a miscalculation every time I needed to setup the tent it’d get dark. I rented the tent from camping shops like The Mountain Air. Sleeping bags are the other thing that’s essential. If you don’t want to buy anything else these two things are super essential. I had a car with me so I didn’t need a backpack but that’s highly recommended. Hiking boots which take the rugged terrain will be helpful if they’re waterproof. Mizuno Wave Riders are some of the best shoes I have every bought but they’re not useful when you’re slipping on rocks into the Merced River. Clothing is dependent on weather but irrespective of when or where you do it nights are cold and days are relatively warmer so layered clothing is the best option to go with.
Places to stay – The state parks along US 101 are wonderful and initially the stay was planned according to the website. Now I was headed North to South so I was going the other way. Even before I saw this website I had divided up the travel pretty similar until in the last 4 days when Yosemite called out and the call was unavoidable. Cheap inns have the luxury of a private shower but many state parks will also provide this facility.
Planning – The planning can get as detailed as possible and then improvisation is always required. I didn’t plan to visit Berkely, USC and Stanford but then in order to cover the Bay Area completely had to see the offices for Palantir and visit Palo Alto. The driving needed some planning and the GPS helped it be more ad hoc. I like the impromptu nature of most decisions as long as they are safe and timely decisions. For each day make sure the plan is set out before 9AM in order to make the most of the day. It would be nice to rise and shine and start really early but I thought the point of these mornings was to be unconventional and have some randomness built into them
Marijuana – The legalization of Marijuana was overstated on social media and every other kind of media like everything else is usually. Neither does THC have the most amazing high nor is it available in grocery shops like everyone thought the legalization would make possible. More than anything my experience with CBD and THC has only left me with a distaste for substances that provide loss of control. More about this in future posts hopefully!
Yosemite – This was the dream that wasn’t part of the initial plan. After I watched free solo I always wanted to see El Capitan and see I did. The enormity of the dawn wall at dawn the Sentinal and Half Dome staring at each other, parted forever was enthralling. I am looking forward to visiting Yosemite in the summer when the Merced will be at it’s full flow, animals will roam free and I will be able to enjoy the sky without any cloud at dawn and dusk