Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

I've got a GREAT idea! #2

The Channel Islands trip was totally my idea. I admit that right up front. I don't even know how I found out about it anymore... it was so long ago. But Dawn had recently moved from Eugene Oregon to Berkeley CA where she was in Grad School doing Social Work. So it seemed 'natural' to try and find something unique to do on the California coast.

The Channel Islands are off the coast of Ventura CA, just south of Santa Barbara. When you decide on a trip to visit the islands, you have to apply for a permit to camp. The permit comes with some very stringent rules that apply when you're camping. The rules break down to this:

  • You have to carry EVERYTHING in with you, including water.
  • You have to bring extra everything because there is no guarantee that the boat will be able to pick you up.
  • You have to be in top physical condition because you are carrying all your gear, food, and water up 154 stairs and then another 1/2 mile straight up to the camp grounds.
  • You have to be certifiably insane.
Here's a blurb from their web site about the camping facilities:

Campground Facilities
All campgrounds are located away from the boat landing areas. Visitors must carry all their gear to the campgrounds. No on-island transportation is provided. Please see the table below for more information on campground distances from landings.

Camping conditions are primitive, and users must camp within designated areas. All campgrounds are equipped with picnic tables and pit toilets. Water is not available at campgrounds and must be brought with you except at the Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Island campgrounds. No trash containers are provided; campers must pack out their own trash.

Outer island campgrounds (San Miguel and Santa Rosa) have wind breaks for each campsite. Campsites are generally located close to one another.

No fires are permitted. Use only enclosed, gas camp stoves.

Since the mice do carry hantavirus, some basic precautions should be taken: do not feed any wild animals; keep food and drink in rodent-proof containers; and prevent entry of mice into your tent by keeping it zipped up at all times. Click here for more information on hantavirus.

Due to scavenging animals (including birds), campers are required to store all food and trash in animal- and bird-proof containers. National Park Service food storage boxes are provided at campsites, but coolers, plastic Rubbermaid-type boxes or other types of containers with sealing lids may be used as well. On Santa Cruz Island, further precautions are needed due to scavenging pigs: 1) do not store any food or trash in tents; 2) if not using food storage boxes, secure pig-proof containers to picnic tables or trees with straps or rope or place food and trash in duffle bags and/or backpacks and hang from trees.

Even after reading the various warnings about how the boat might not be able to come pick us up, I was still highly enthusiastic about this adventure. Oh, how naive I was.....

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