Monday, September 12th: Base Camp: Ventura Ranch KOA
Weather: low 60s with low-hanging clouds until noon, partly cloudy, breezy and 70s until evening
Route: CA-150 to CA-126 to Ventura and back to Base Camp.
Monday, with no long drive ahead of us, was more relaxed:
After a good night's sleep in our clean, cozy tent and a simple breakfast of hot oatmeal and tea (without annoying insects) we were able to appreciate the better aspects of this KOA. During breakfast the wild peacock, making his morning rounds, inspected us and our site.
Along the after-breakfast nature stroll through the undeveloped section of the property we saw many different bird species, including woodpeckers, peacocks, crows, Mexican Jays, California Quail and herons (maybe??) as well as a lizard or two.
After the big exodus of rowdy weekend tenters this morning, we had the tenting area and freshly-cleaned bathrooms almost all to ourselves.
Thanks to our GPS it was an easy drive into Ventura where we found a Vons Supermarket and a Panera's restaurant within a mile of each other. We ate a soup and sandwich lunch at the restaurant and took salads to go for dinner. At Vons we bought ice and a few backpacking items like bread, cheese and fruit for the next three nights on Santa Cruz Island.
While we were staging our backpacking supplies and loading them into the backpacks and small cooler, our campsite stayed shady all afternoon thanks to the large manzanita tree spreading above us. Hubby made sure all the electronics were fully charged in anticipation of having no power for the next 5 days. By dinner we were organized for tomorrow's early morning ferry ride to the Channel Islands.
The day would have been perfect except:
- We were shocked by the prices of produce grown right here in California. Since the same produce is cheaper after being shipped to Pennsylvania we can only guess that it is the higher overhead here that drives up the prices. Perhaps we were too quick to complain about the $42.00/night tent camping fee?
- Pesky flies bothered us most of the afternoon while we were organizing our backpacking gear. Fortunately they mostly disappeared once the temperature dropped into the 60s later in the day.