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Channel Islands 2011 Trip

Day 1 of 5

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Saturday, April 16th
Drive to Ventura

Before this trip, I'd visited (over several years) Yosemite, Lassen Volcanic, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Redwood, Death Valley, and Joshua Tree National Parks. That meant that I had visited every national park in California except one -- Channel Islands National Park. That would change with this trip.

I had thought about visiting Channel Islands before, but never did. Even on this trip, we weren't sure of our plans until relatively late. About a month before our trip, I found that there were still camping spots available. I looked into plane tickets to one of the islands, but at over $300 apiece for the four of us, that seemed excessively expensive. The boat to Santa Cruz Island cost under $100 apiece, and there were camping spots available, so I reserved both.

Even with our reservations secured, our trip was in jeopardy. Just a week before we were to leave the Bay Area, there was a threat of a federal shutdown, which would probably close the campground. Thankfully, the shutdown did not materialize, and our trip went ahead as planned.

Saturday morning, we finished packing and left the Bay Area a bit after 1pm. With little traffic, it took us about 5 hours to reach Ventura, where we stayed in a hotel at the harbor.


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