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Day 1: Los Banos, CA (part two)

Like many California State Parks, the San Luis Reservoir is decent enough, but way overpriced in my view – $38 bucks for no hook-ups is a bit on the steep side I think.  By the way, the Golden state will hit you up for an additional $1 to shower for five minutes.  That said, the campsites are huge, offer plenty of elbow room between neighboring sites, and are level.  Nice.

This time of year the park was mostly empty; so all in all, we had some nice downtime to relax.

Per usual, we did get out for some park exploring … or at least tried to.  Many of the most “marketed” trails were closed for the season; not sure what that’s all about.  Not to be deterred, we walked the park roads in an attempt to make the most of things.  In the end this was ok since the park was basically empty.

Also we did manage to see some wildlife during our stay.

Like these elk:

Elk grazing the fields

And lots of these bugs:

Desert Stink Beetle

And by far the biggest spider I’ve ever seen outside of a museum or zoo:

California Tarantula

Another big downer about this park is that many of the more heavily marketing trails are closed for the year, but not marked as such.  We found this out the hard way – after driving 15 minutes to the trail parking lot, walking another ten minutes to the trailhead, then finding access to the trail itself sufficiently cut off by a gate.

Rolling hills under clouds

The lone highway through the park

Despite some otherwise pretty scenery, I give this park a big thumbs down.

Not sure I can recommend this park

Once we settled in for the evening, I started a nice fire ($6 for a small bundle of wood) and Kelly made a fantastic pizza.  We had fresh-baked cookies for dessert (ok, they were Tollhouse).

Enjoying warm cookies and milk.

Afterwards, we settled in to begin watching season-1 of Showtime’s TV drama Homeland.  Wow, what a good show.

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