Day 41 • April 11, 2012 • Guatay to Live Oak Springs, CA • 23 miles
Last night the fog gave way to heavy rain which didn’t let up until mid-morning. Our one remaining lighter got wet overnight and wouldn’t spark and we couldn’t get our matches from the waterproof container to strike so a hot breakfast was looking unlikely. We were cold and wet so we wadded up our sopping tent and clothes and road a few miles into Guatay, which had a convenience store. The breakfast burritos were bad but they had a microwave so at least they were hot. We hung around until feeling returned to our extremities which resulted in a very late start.
We climbed another 1000 feet in occasional rain which gradually ended with clearing skies. Along the way we passed the Boulder Oaks USFS campground which we had intended to use until we learned it was closed due to breeding season for the endangered Arroyo Southwestern Toad. The Cleveland National Forest contains critical habitat for this handsome critter. We didn’t see one but were happy to let them procreate in peace.
We spent the night at the Live Oak Springs RV Resort. We’re learning that if an RV park has “Resort” in the name, it’s anything but. In this case the camping area had trash strewn everywhere and the one bathroom that wasn’t padlocked shut was disgusting. I hope this place hasn’t passed a health inspection in this condition which makes me wonder how they justify charging $25 to pitch a tent there. The restaurant, however, balanced the score nicely. Good bar food, local beers on tap, friendly service, good music coming from the juke box, wifi that worked, and the place was heated in part by a roaring fire. The temperature was dropping quickly that evening so we hung out by the fire and then dashed to the tent in the dark, imagining beautiful, clean surroundings.