McGrath State Beach to Leo Carillo State Beach

It’s, er, cool and cloudy again when we set out the following morning.  We’re gone pretty early, as the parks guys like hiker-bikers to leave to prevent “transients” (aka the homeless) from settling in.  Of which more later.  Here’s Diane putting another layer on next to a nice power station.
 
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After coffee in Oxnard, we hit farmland again and stop at a stall to buy fruit.
 
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It was cheap and yummy.  This is a big armed forces area, so we’re riding around the massive Ventura County Naval Base.  Amongst other things, they test missiles, and so have a large display of old and current hardware at their Missile Park.  The tallest one is a Polaris.
 
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We’re riding around the Santa Monica Mountains now, mostly at sea level.  It’s very hot.  We stop for lunch by the beach and chat to some other cyclists who will be at the border in a couple of days, rather than a week like us.  They aren’t carrying anything, though, they are being followed by some friends in a van.
 
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This being a weekend, there are vast, and I mean vast, numbers of motorcyclists around.  They all pop out here from LA and meet up at Neptune’s Net.
 
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This doesn’t show the hundreds of other bikes or the police cars, and can’t convey the noise, which was immense.  Shortly thereafter, we haul into Leo Carrillo State Beach, and set up in hiker-biker.  They have a camp store selling beer and t-shirts, so I buy both.
 
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Anyway, for some weeks our fellow cyclists had been warning us about the state campgrounds south of Santa Barbara, and especially near LA.  Most said they wouldn’t stay in them, and some even packed in their trips before they got there.  Even The Book mentioned the transient problem.  But we wanted them to be nice places, and so, with some foreboding, we are camping at the closest campground to LA.
 
It was super-noisy until very late, and that was just the regular campers.  Also, the rangers (who carry guns) come and check who’s there at about 7pm.  All good, although there’s a couple of guys staying there already who look homeless to me.  Then, at about 11pm, more people sneak in and set up about 20 feet away.  They have a big fire and sit around talking, and occasionally shouting at each other, until about 4am.  They wander about looking for wood, shouting and waving torches, which is disconcerting for us in a small tent.  All in all, not a good experience.
 
So, farewell then, state campgrounds.  We’ll motel it or stay at commercial sites for the rest of the trip.  The big city tomorrow.

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