Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Petaluma and Bolinas, CA: Into the Woods!

Roomie and I abstractly conceived the plan at Thursday Night Glug Glug and didn't make much effort in terms of preparation until Bone, the final piece in our camping trifecta, picked us up on Saturday morning. We loaded his trunk with most of Lawrence and Bobby's camping supplies plus some food and headed for Highway One to hunt for the perfect site to pitch a guerrilla tent. Getting from point A to B ended up flipping through the whole alphabet to Z, as all of the beach spots were too windy and the land locked locations were either too unguarded or required too much trespassing. The legit campgrounds were full as well.

We were still errantly searching for accommodations as evening approached. I made a chance phone call to the "Petaluma KOA" - a recommendation from one of the previous campground inn keepers who had turned away this Little Baby Jesus. If you, like I, are/were ignorant of this organization, please note that KOA stands for "Kampgrounds of America," apparently a staple of American recreation. Who knew. I got us the last reservation and we booked it to Petaluma and made it just before dark. Petaluma, the "Egg Capital of America," is a funny little town about an hour north east of the city if you take the hypotenuse. We didn't (see map).

Bone and Katie pitched the tents and we settle in for a night by the campfire amid the 1272 other people at the KOA. It was strange to be on a tiny plot of nature next to rows of other families going about normal life in a very visible way. We were nestled between a large Filipino group, a couple of Scots with toddlers, and a hick family. People brought their whole houses - speaker systems, table cloths, doormats placed outside the tents. We were by all means the least prepared, a fact that sunk in when we realized we had no light (save a pocket sized flashlight that Roomie promptly broke at sundown) and no place to sit. Yikes! Roomie made a very luxurious tent for us and we slept well.

My only real problem with the KOA is that there is little social space to get freaky. The element of camping that I am attracted to the most (at all) is its room to wear a costume, play loud African music, and dance like a pagan around the fire. It was virtually impossible to accomplish this in Petaluma but I must say it didn't completely stop our souls from glowing.

Whoa Koa; setting up camp

Among the mishaps; laughing ass off


glamcamp!; it ain't pretty

In the morning we packed up, ate at a greasy spoon and headed back to Bolinas for the afternoon beach party. There was a good showing of ASGFs and BFs, though everyone straggled in on account of the traffic. By evening Bone had left and Roomie and I were left stranded in Loonsville with enough camping gear for a Himalayan expedition. Laura and Dante arrived then Bobby and Laurence, who generously let us shack up in their room at Smiley's for the night. The six of us ate and drank a bit and watched the locals of all ages get funky at the Saloon.

The 'Moes, Roomie, Lu and I ate breakfast at the Bolinas Peoples Store (Coastal Cafe was closed, plus we had already eaten there twice on Sunday) outside of the ever-infested Free Box. We hit Point Reyes National Seashore by noon and began our four mile hike to Bass Lake for an afternoon of nature. Lula was a really good sport about the schlep and even put up with a couple of dunks in the lake. Bobby and Laurence were particularly frisky.

We were all pretty haggard and ate dinner in Point Reyes, concluding our epic trek into the wilderness on Labor Day weekend. After 60 hours of Roughin It it was good to be home.

Bolinas surfing safari; Lu and pug (not Vienna)

Total sherpa; Smiley's

Balmy Casa hiking to Ass Lake

Scenic overlook of Pt Reyes

Lake Bass; Lula with the 'Moes

Lesson about Nature: One must resign all notions of vanity upon pitching tent.


Daniela said...

Oh, baby, wait til Burning Man next year then you'll REALLY learn about losing all vanity for camping's sake.

Katie Lerin said...

all in all a very successful trip, considering the minimal planning that went in. Highlights include: bone's attempt at singing, getting you back with the flash, the outfit you wore (HELLO HOTPANTS), our little stowaway, tears of laughter, not running into a certain townie, a bed at smiley's and meeting louie. gandu good!

Volubilis said...

what's with you not mentioning my beach fire? that was an excellent impromptu fire. excellent.

Ruby Fuerza AKA Lucille Brawl said...

AUTHOR'S NOTE: there was an excellent beach fire too.