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Lake Cowichan view from our dock.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Santa Cruz/Monterey KOA Holiday Resort, CA March 10

Ray and I had jacks up by 9:30 and on our way to Monterey, a place Ray has always wanted to see. All along Hwy 101 since Ventura, we noticed these posts with bells on them with the sign "Historic El Camino Real". After doing a little research this is what I found.

One of those ubiquitous Historic El Camino Real bell markers we see along the 101 Freeway.
Picture from Google

"El Camino Real is Spanish for "The Royal Road" and in California is the name for the 700 mile historic California Mission Trail that connects 21 missions, 4 presidios (military forts) and several pueblos (towns) from Mission San Diego de Alcala in the south to Mission San Francisco Solano in Northern California. 

So what's up with those bell markers on the 101? According to the California Department of Transportation, the Mission Bell Marker system has existed on the historic El Camino Real route since 1906. The original marker system called for installation of bells one mile apart along the entire length of the El Camino Real. By 1913, over 450 markers were in place, but over the years the bells were removed due to damage, vandalism and theft. In 1959, the Division of Highways was legislatively mandated to maintain the marker system. Legislation in 1974 reiterated that responsibility. Caltrans initiated a plan to maintain the system beginning in 1974, when less than 100 of the original Mission Bell Markers remained. The bells are exact copies of the original 1906 bells; in fact the original bell molds were used to fabricate the bells."

We finally parked in our spot at the Santa Cruz/Monterey KOA at a price of $66.50 per night plus $2 per night resort fee and taxes. Ouch! California is expensive. I had originally planned to stay right in Monterey but they were all full at a huge price of $80/night plus resort fee and taxes. Oh well our last chance at sunshine before we make the run back to BC starting Tuesday morning and all the other spots I have picked are free going home.  Hopefully the snow is finally gone from their forecast! Once set up we took a short drive to the beach to give Freya a run. Boy they sure did get some storm damage as you can see from Ray's pics. The Manresa Beach below us actually had closed access to the beach as their stairs were left high in the air after the last set of storms. You had to get down via the boat ramp. There sure is lots of debris on the beach.

This KOA is surprising nice. Usually we find them quite run down so have more or less crossed them off our list of places to stay. Lots of kids and families being a Friday night and the Californians are loving returning back to their warm sunny days so all of the RV parks are full. this resort has tiny house cabins to rent as well. They even had a marshmellow person roving around inviting everyone for smores at the communal campfire at 7:30 tonight. I managed to snap a picture as Ray was walking the dog. 

Saturday afternoon they have a train that takes the kids for a ride. I guess that is the difference calling it a KOA Holiday Resort.

Left overs for dinner and then some TV. Ready for another adventure tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. My family has been coming up to this KOA for close to 25 years now, and while it is certainly more crowded now than it used to be it seems to get better every summer. Glad you enjoyed it!