A Thief in the Night – Cerro Alto

Close FIt

Yesterday I moved the Coach from Paradise Campground, just outside Santa Barbara, to Cerro Alto Campground inland from Morro Bay. I had emailed the campground a few weeks ago because I was concerned after looking at the entry road on Google. They assured me I could fit, but it was tight. They were correct, I did eventually fit but the turnaround was just as tight as the campsite. I believe it was angels that held up the driver’s side tires as we circled the turnaround. It was a turn to the left and much tighter than it looked. As I looked in the rear view mirror the Coaches tires were off the pavement, crossing the dirt or mud lip of a culvert about four or five feet deep. Whew, we made it Jagger! Then drove back down the road to the campsite that was waiting for us, number 8.

Narrow Campground Roads

Arriving at our campsite I stopped to evaluate how I was going to back in the small narrow site. After getting back into the Workhorse I put it in reverse and ease back, only tapping the boulder at the back of the campsite slightly. It was literally that tight. One thing I’ve learned is  all measurements are not the same when booking a campsite in a National Forest.

Many campsites are advertised the total feet of the site, not what size RV will fit. This was the case here. I always have searched campsites for a 35′ RV in the past, but since I’m “dry camping” more in our National Forests, I’ve upped my search to 40 feet. This, when available, will usually allow me to park the Workhorse perpendicular to our camp.

The Coach and Workhorse fits – kinda

After disconnecting the Coach from the hitch, I back the Workhorse under the overhang with inches of the Coach’s front storage compartment. We’re home for a week and only hanging out a foot or so, but with-the site. Later the host came around and set out an orange cone, just as a precaution. She said since I was on a curve she wanted to make sure drivers passing were a little more alert, especially at night. I thanked her.

When the sun was setting, Jagger and I went for a walk around the campground. The next thing I notice is our campsite is completely surrounded by poison oak!  As we walk out of the site and down the road I also notice it not just our camp but the campground seems to have an abundance poison oak. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise. This cool valley, not far from the Pacific Ocean is kept moist by the fog and mist, along with the sprinkling of rain. Especially this year.

Poison Oak everywhere

Jagger and I enjoy getting out for our walk and many of the sites are empty. I’m sure the coming weekend will be a different story. When we get to the end of our campground, I can see the tire marks of our trailer in the mud of the “turn around”. Yikes even closer than I thought. I make a mental note, as not to repeat that turn. Then we head back to our campsite and call it a night.


I had trouble sleeping after 3 am this morning for some reason and ended up sleeping in late. I hate when that happens, it feels like I lose part of the day. Usually the best part. Shuffling down the stairs into our living area I say good morning to Jagger and start my coffee. Since our campsite is in a deep valley and well shaded, I decide to start the generator around 8:20 am to bring our batteries up. As I step out I immediately notice it’s overcast and there is a cool fine mist in the air.

I step down the steps and when I get to that last step … Whoa! What? Someone has stolen my adjustable step 🙁 I’m lucky I didn’t hurt myself. Jagger where were you last night? He tilts his head with a question on his mug. I can’t believe he didn’t hear the thief! Usually he hears anything that even approaches near our camp. Our campsite is very narrow and the Coach barely fits. They must have saw it during the day and came back in stealth to nab their prize.

It figures, the first thing I’ve ever had stolen since going “full time” is in California! It makes me sad, but I won’t let it wreck my day. I look around and so far nothing else is missing. Which includes my bike (locked – two cables), the Honda generator (cabled), misc inexpensive stuff and an aluminum ladder (not cheap and loose). Then I notice, Oh man my generator cover too.

I start the generator and go back in the Coach, shaking off the bad feeling. I’ll be going into the city of Morro Bay today. Maybe I can at least purchase a generator cover to protect the generator during the rain showers we are having here almost daily.

Safe Travels…Gary and Jagger

More Photos: Cerro Alto Campground, Morro Bay

Campground Review: Cerro Alto Campground Review

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6 Comments

  1. John L. September 5, 2017 Reply
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  2. Sharon September 5, 2017 Reply
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