I was watching the clock on my computer, waiting to try to reserve a site for our February visit to San Diego, as the February sites opened up at 8:00 AM August 1st (11:00 EDT). I knew that the South Carlsbad State Park was closing for repairs in mid-February so had planned a week’s stay just ahead of that closure date. What I did not know was that much of the park was already closed and that very few sites were open.
As 11:00 clicked on, I counted to ten and loaded a page I had pretty much ready-to-go but could not find any sites in the area we had stayed before. There were only about 30 sites available and as I selected one and hit return, it would be gone. I lost about five along the beachside this way and soon only a couple on the opposite side of the road were available. I got one and locked it in and took a deep breath. I had heard of folks fighting for Florida sites as soon as they became available but had not run into this before — too much tension but ten minutes later all were booked and I felt fortunate to get one.
It turns out that California has a restriction that you can not reserve a campsite more that seven months away. New Mexico has a six-month restriction. Most other states we visit do not.
I have locked in a couple of weeks at Patagonia Lake State Park in Arizona prior to our California visit and then about ten days at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park after we leave Carlsbad.
We wanted to get back to Arizona for birding and see the kids in San Diego so that formed the backbone of our first half. Then we need to ride out Texas school spring break which ties up their parks and hopefully visit our Ohio gang on the way home. The trip is pretty much planned (Mapquest routes, spreadsheets, some reservations) leaving in early January and returning in mid-April but very well may change. It’s nice to have a game plan and to have locked in those crucial California dates. Stay tuned.