Friday, November 3, 2017

Bicycle Camping 2 - Guajome Park, Oceanside CA

Bicycle Camping 1 - O'Neill Park

It was time once again to hit the road for an overnight trip.  This time, the destination was Guajome Park in Oceanside, conveniently located along the San Luis Rey river trail and situated about half way between the beach and Fallbrook.  The ride from north Orange County was around 70 miles. Along the way we ran into many wonderful things, some of which I actually got pictures of, enjoy!

We begin with a picture of my bike loaded up with the new equipment.  And by that, I mean a new camping mat that's about 6 times thicker than the yoga mat I tried sleeping on last time.  This one I bought from an army surplus store (also in Oceanside), I paid good money for it, ~$17, but I think it will be a worthwhile investment.  Especially for that cross country bike trip I got planned later on. oops, spoiler alert!
This picture was actually taken right after my super scrap alchemy find of a free foundry sand sieve on the side of the road. That was part of this trip as well.

Squashy Grapefruit leads the way!  Stopping at the Laguna Niguel/ Mission Viejo train station for a break.
What's this? A bounce house on top of a building?
A clear view over the ocean at San Onofre state beach.  Yes, the same San Onofre with the nuclear power plant that was recently decommissioned.
I arrived at my destination after dark, which meant an incredibly fresh ride up the San Luis Rey river trail from the beach.  The convenience of having the river trail literally across the street from the campground cannot be ignored.... The only problem was I didn't read the directions correctly and ended up going up the wrong street looking for the entrance.  The address for the park was listed on Santa Fe Ave, but being such a large regional park, it has a separate entrance for camping which I wasn't aware.  After climbing Santa Fe for a good 2 miles and seeing the "welcome to Vista" sign, I knew I was definitely in the wrong place.  After finding a map at one of the wrong entrances, I headed back down to hwy 76 and made my approach to the correct one.
It was late enough by the time I got there that the check in kiosk was closed, and I had to enter the night entrance and go to the ranger's station to get my spot.  I was informed that all the spots were taken and it's like that every weekend between May and October, but I was fortunate enough to get the "emergency spot" seeing that my only other option would be to stealth camp or try Carlsbad state beach which was probably also full.  Thankfully, everything ended up working out here.  I certainly didn't have any problem falling asleep after such a long ride getting there.  The new mat helped with that as well.  The spot cost $29 this time, and like O'Neill, they didn't have spots dedicated for bicycle camping.  The only difference here was there was electrical hook ups at every space in addition to water.
Back on the road for day 2, stopping at a park after picking up provisions at Sprouts Market down the street.  I got Squashy Grapefruit a friend for the ride; Mushy Melon.
The view of Mance Buchanon Park (what a cool name), this was a pretty big park as well.  To the right is the San Luis Rey river.
Heading back to the beach.  On the way, there were a few garage sales I stopped at, I also went past Mission San Luis Rey and checked out the surrounding area.  Here is a fairly large castor bean plant with the river in the background.  Ever since my poisoning incident, I've been noticing these plants a lot more. DON'T EAT THIS!
I was feeling brave and courageous, so I decided to climb the hill on Mission Ave instead of taking the much flatter river trail.  At the top I was rewarded with this wonderful view of the valley looking out toward the airport and the mission.
Being completely exhausted, yet still managing to take on a sizeable climb; the face of victory.
To my delight, I was greeted by this really cool looking place with cool looking buildings, it turned out to be The Rosicrucian Fellowship.
Dang, international headquarters? that sounds pretty important.  I decided to go check it out since I'd heard about Rosicrucianism from somewhere a while ago, it's basically Christianity for the people who still wanted a scientific explanation for everything and weren't satisfied with the typical church belief system.  And hey, how convenient! it was Sunday at 10AM, and service is at 11, let's go!
Exploring the grounds, apparently this place has been at this same location for 80 something years!
Many of the buildings do show their age, but hey, I like old stuff.  I attended the service in a small chapel, and was very engaged in the speaking.  I was particularly interested in the part about "eastern vs. western spiritual practices" and how "meditation and breathing exercises can lead to insanity and mental illness in westerners".  Odd, I thought a university education caused those?  After the service, I attended their vegetarian lunch in the cafeteria, which was followed by a discussion.  I will admit, while I am into the deeper meaning of things and enjoy being around others who feel the same, I felt the Rosicrucian was a bit too technical for my level; there was a lot of astrology and stuff that felt a bit overwhelming, but nonetheless, I left enjoying my time there and wouldn't mind going back again when I'm in the area.
Next stop: Carlsbad Alkaline Water, or as I like to call it "That Carlsbad Alch!"  They'd been closed earlier in the summer for well maintenance, but this time they were open.  I think the price might've gone up from 60 to 80 cents per gallon, but still, this is the best water I've ever tasted!
Heading back to Oceanside.  Cool cars!
Cool trains!
This concludes the journey.  I had a very good time and I feel even more comfortable camping and sleeping outdoors.  Stay tuned for more adventures!

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