Posted by admin on 11/02/12  ~  Posted in: Galleries, Cambria

Heading south from Big Sur, the wilderness comes to an end. Rogue camping becomes infeasible, and this is particularly inconvenient when you're sick as hell just looking for some place to sleep. Coming into Cambria, Shannon was exhausted and in desperate need of rest, I wasn't far behind. We were both getting pretty discouraged as we desperately looked at Google Maps in search of someplace we could pull off where nobody would bother us. Having found what looked like a good possibility, we headed just north of town and east on a side road off highway 1. Things were looking promising when we came to a gate. That's the problem with Google Maps; what looks like a road into the wilderness often turns out to be gated. As the afternoon was wearing on, and our our concurrent illnesses were dragging us into despair, we began backing up from the gate we had been thwarted by, wondering what to do next. Just as we were turning around, a large Suburban pulled up next to us. The driver rolled down her window and asked us what we were doing, and if we were trying to find a place to camp. "Yes" we answered, a little confused as to what this person wanted. "Well, you can come stay up on our ranch if you'd like - we've got a nice camp spot right on the creek." Our hearts lifted immediately and Shannon and I looked at each other with huge grins on our face. Hot damn! We eagerly accepted the offer and followed her up the road a few miles, where she got out, unlocked a cable across a dirt road leaving the pavement, let us through and escorted us to a beatiful place right on the creek, just as she had said. "There's a wood pile there if you want to have a fire, and come on over to the house if you want to take some showers or have dinner with us!" she said. "Oh, and I'm cleaning out the guest room so if you want to sleeep inside just come knockin' - our farmhouse is just down the road on the left, a big red place, can't miss it!" Of all the times we could have used some spontaneous generosity, this was certainly a welcome gift.

As it turned out, we spent several days parked there under a great sycamore tree, along the creek, recuperating. After a couple days just resting and getting our strength back, we met up with Lindy and her husband Jon (pronounced Yon) and she took us on a quad ride around their property. They owned a huge ranch (somthing like 10,000 acres) in the Cambria hills, just to the south of Hearst Castle. We drove around for a couple hours, over beautiful rolling hills of green, amonst cows and horses and ranch dogs. The views were amazing and we had a wonderful time seeing the world they had worked so hard to create around them. We came back and took Lindy up on the offer of hot showers - a very nice treat indeed! We ate dinner with them that evening and enjoyed some good conversation in their beatiful home. A wonderful time was had by all. They told us that whenever they see people looking for a place to camp (apparently a somewhat common occurence) they offer the use of their camping spot by the creek. In terms of kindness and generosity, Lindy and Jon had it coming out their pores. These were two of the kindest people I've ever met and I'll never forget their hospitality. To bring us from the nightmare of being sick on the road with nowhere to rest, to a beautiful sanctuary of peace, quiet, and hospitality was an amazing gift. This would be the last time we were in wilderness for a while, as our next leg of the journey would take us to Victorville - a brown and grey city in the high desert just east of L.A. For the time being however, we soaked up the wonderful experience with Lindy and Jon and look forward to revisiting them sometime in the future.