Notwithstanding that I wrote yesterday we'd likely bypass this spot, we are actually parked along the Rincon Parkway in Ventura County, California (map), not far from Rincon Point and its famous surfing grounds. We've been here several times before; the rate for a 40' parallel-parking spot along the seawall here has risen to $27 per night since then.
We had pretty much settled on heading to the Santa Barbara Elks lodge (which is really in Goleta) last night, but as we passed the Rincon parking area on the freeway we could see there were lots and lots of available spaces. Having been battling the winds on US-101 for a few miles, we also realized that the parking area was at least partly in the lee of the nearby hills. And the surf was quite spectacular -- we fancied ourselves just watching it from our windows for hours. But what really moved us to pull in and check it out was the realization that this may very well be the last time we pass this way in Odyssey.
That's not a foregone conclusion, of course. It could take as much as another couple years for us to close on a boat, and we seem to do the California coast in one direction or the other annually. But given that we've stepped up the search dramatically, and that more than one boat we've seen has spoken softly to us as a real possibility, we think it is more likely we will be on the water within a year.
The string of empty spaces along the concrete portion of the seawall sealed the deal, and we were fortunate enough to have two empty spaces on either end of us all night. The surf was just as riveting as we imagined, and even though this beach is not "the" surf spot along the Rincon, this morning has seen a half dozen or so wet-suited denizens of the surfing community trying their luck in the curling breakers. We braved the slightly chilly winds in our patio chairs for cocktail hour yesterday, but it was a bit too cool out there for coffee this morning. We could not use the roof deck, as the satellite dish is aimed right at it -- if we ever do come back here, we'll try to park along the rip-rap further east, where the road is not pointed directly at the AMC-9 satellite.
Parking payment here is good for 24 hours, so we're paid up until 2pm, which is when we arrived yesterday. At over a buck an hour for the gorgeous view, we'll stay all the way till our pass expires before continuing up the coast. I have a backlog of emails to answer anyway, which piled up during our whirlwind boat-viewing loop of southern California. And we don't want to be too far north of Vandenberg by tomorrow afternoon anyway, because I am hoping to catch a glimpse of the Delta-IV launch scheduled for sometime after 4pm.