Saturday, April 29, 2017

The knock

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.

I’ll be here long enough to do this blog post and catch a little more sleep. Then there’s a coastal stealth spot I’ve learned about three hours to the north. So long, San Diego County. And Orange County. And Los Angeles County. It's been great.


  1. Do you have a preference for one tyoe of area over the other (rural or urban)?

  2. Knock knock ... whos there? Police.. Police who? Police pass me my keys.