The Adventures of Airstream Mikie

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Road Trip #1: Day 1, Malibu, CA

The "Morning Of" went well enough, a flurry of activity, of course, but it seemed to go without any major problems.  I was just hoping that I wouldn't get 100 miles down the road and realize that I forgot something essential.  I hate when that happens!

In its first real test, the Garmin GPS in the Toyota FJ Cruiser works well enough to get me where I need to go, in spite of several disconcerting audible messages that advise me that it has lost its satellites.

The drive went smoothly enough, and I soon pulled in to a commercial campground in Malibu, on the legendary Pacific Coast Highway, right across the street from the Pacific Ocean.   Some first impressions:

Electricity!  Real electricity, not from batteries, but the good old fashioned stuff right out of the plug waiting by the parking space.  An inexhaustible supply, no generator needed, no battery recharging needed.  Just like home!  I can charge my computer/iPhone/iPod and listen to music and microwave food and use the air conditioner all at the same time without blowing a fuse.  This is truly civilized living!

Wi-Fi.  I can use the computer for email instead of using the mini screen on the iPhone, and it's a lot faster too.

Water!  Right out of the hose, an unlimited supply, so I can take a real shower without being concerned about running out or overfilling my gray water tank.  However, the trailer's water outlet is lower than the park's inlet.  And, from what I learned as a child, water doesn't go uphill.  What is this all about?  Didn't Wally B. start this camping stuff like 70 years ago?  How can it be that the Airstream is designed with such a low water outlet?  How can it be that a campground in Malibu (USA) decided to build sewer inlets higher than an Airstream outlet?  I guess I'm just going to have to get used to the idea that outdoor types don't spend very much time thinking about such details.  Probably a plethora of mesomorphs involved in this camping thing.

View.  A great 180-degree white-water view of the Pacific.  I have a front-row seat (parking spot), precariously close to the edge of the hill.  I chock the wheels for the first time.  Sure, the spot is level, sort of, but the idea of some kids coming along in the night and pushing the trailer over the edge is unsettling.  (I'm remembering my own mis-spent youth.)

Weather.  Perfect. 74 degrees, clear.

Cost.  80 bucks per night!  Yikes!   That seems high to me, but it's probably a lot less than any hotel I might find in Malibu.  And I know where the sheets have been...

1.  The traffic noise during the day all but obliterates the sounds of the surf.
2.  No Sunsets!  That was a huge surprise.  Malibu faces south, and is cut of from sunset views by some mass of land to the west.  Total bummer!  How do these people survive without sunsets?
3.  No Pool Table.  Actually, there is a pool table, but it is closed after 6pm when the campground store closes.  It seems obvious that these people are not pool players.  It's probably just as well because the table is in a semi-outdoor spot, so the table and equipment is almost certainly FUBAR due to the ocean salty humidity.

Late at night, the traffic noise decreases until there are moments, some lasting almost a minute, where there are no cars at all, and the sweet sounds of the surf can be heard.  Big, clean waves roll in and crash on the beach with the sound of thunder.

There is a buzzing sound coming from the refrigerator area.  It will not stop unless I turn off all electricity,  and of course then the food will spoil, so that's no solution.  It is not at all conducive to sleeping, and of course it completely spoils the natural sounds of the surf.

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