Friday, May 29, 2015

Half Moon Bay

We decided that we wanted to continue hugging the coast and make a stop close enough to San Francisco for a day trip.  This pretty much limited us to Half Moon Bay State Beach.  Knowing how busy the state parks are in California, we knew that meant reservations.  So for only the second time in the 14 years I've been on the road (fulltime for 8 of those years), I made reservations.  I really resent paying a reservation fee for me to reserve a site using their automated computer system.  If I called and reserved with a live person, I could understand it.

Okay, off the soap box.  Here's the funny part.  Well, at least it's funny now.  We arrived at the entrance to the campground and checked the reservation board which said our site, number 4, was reserved by somebody else.  Imagine my reaction.  I already hated the fact that I had to make a reservation and they gave away my site to somebody else!

So we drove on in, found site number 4 and parked.  Ron figured if it came to a fight, he would send me out.  Happily, it didn't come to that because the list was actually there from the night before.

The sites are large and nicely spaced, but I'm sure glad we didn't spend extra for a site with a view.  It was pretty foggy the whole time we were there..

So off we went to see what we could see in the couple of hours remaining in the afternoon.  But first, I have to back up a little.  On our way to Half Moon Bay, we stopped to eat lunch at a viewpoint where we could see Pigeon Point lighthouse off in the distance.  We'll be seeing a lot of lighthouses on this trip, but I always like them.  I just wish they would paint them in more interesting ways, like they do some of the ones in the east.

North of Half Moon Bay, we stopped at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.  Obviously this guy didn't read the signs about not approaching the wildlife.

Zooming in, I thought this poor seal looked like he was dead, but hopefully he's just a sound sleeper.

A little farther north, we found the Point Montara lighthouse.  The lighthouse has quite a history, having served at Mayo Beach on Cape Cod, Massachusetts from 1881 to 1922.  It made its way 3000 miles, first to Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco Bay, then Point Montara where it has been since 1928.

As a side note of interest, both Pigeon Point and Point Montara have been converted to hostels.  For about $25, you can stay in an 8-person dorm room in the light keeper's cottage.  They need to get those hostelers busy painting the lighthouse.

View of the coast from the lighthouse.

Next up, our day in San Francisco, which might take two or three posts.


  1. It all looks interesting, I image there is such a lot to see and do in S F.

  2. I agree with you, it stinks that you have to pay a fee to make a reservation. I try to avoid using places that use those systems.

    I thought I felt an earthquake until you said you made a reservation for a campsite. That was what made the ground shake... :cD

  3. I hate when I make reservations cause something always happens....Im with you on the lighthouses a mural would be nice!!

  4. Ah gee, a reservation? We have reserved sites from now through July 22, except for 2 nights. I don't like the reservation fee, but we do like knowing where we will be and that we are sure of a site. Maybe that is because we want water and electric every day?

  5. When I saw the title of your post, I thought for a minute that you were with us in Antarctica ... our first landing was at Half Moon Bay on Half Moon Island ;-)