I started the day with the vague plan to wander through the mountains of eastern San Diego County, starting with Old Highway 80 (the predecessor of I-8) and then turning north through Mt. Laguna, Julian, and Warner Springs. I'd find a dispersed camping spot somewhere in the Cleveland National Forest.
But then, only about 30 miles down the road, I saw a sign for a campground. Some part of me said, "Turn in there." So I did.
Boulder Oaks Campground serves as a departure point at the southern end of the Pacific Crest Trail. There were about a dozen hikers chatting, checking their packs, filling their canteens and using the toilet before setting off on their 2,600 mile trek. I'm far less ambitious, so I found a nice campsite and settled in to just enjoy the non-desert surroundings and perfect weather. It was an excellent deal at $7.00/night with my senior pass.