I’ve really enjoyed stealth camping in greater San Diego. Hang at the beach during the day, slip away to one of several places during the night.
But yesterday evening, as I settled into a spot on Mission Bay I’ve used several times, I started wondering if I was pushing my luck with the lack of enforcement. A week ago there were several dozen overnighters in the lot, but the numbers had been decreasing. Hmmmm, maybe they knew something I didn’t.
So I decided to drive down to my spot in Imperial Beach. I had always felt good there, partly because it’s down a dead end street, partly because there aren’t any parking restriction signs of any kind.
I was settled in with the windows blacked out and the lights off when irony paid a visit in the form of two Imperial Beach officers. They informed me inhabiting vehicles was forbidden and I informed them I would leave. No ticket. No drama.
Where to go, then? Back to San Diego? Or was it a sign I should move farther? Back to the desert, perhaps? Even farther?
But the more pressing question was where to spend the night. Somewhere I wouldn’t be rousted. Somewhere perfectly legal so I could actually sleep instead of worry. The answer was Oceanside Harbor. I’d have to pay, but I’d be buying peace of mind.
Having answered that question, I woke up to a new one. Where now? Well, to get a bagel, but after that…?
The very short-term answer was to drive down the coast highway and look for a place to park by the beach. That wouldn’t be easy, what with it being Saturday and all. I eventually found a lot on a bluff in Encinitas.