Something I've read and heard murmurs about is overnight bike camping. So yesterday I left work an hour early to come home and pack.
It's very exciting to do something new, even if it's not a big thing. Heading out for a sub-24hr-overnight trip made me nervous and excited and hopeful.
As the sun went down over the valley and a nearly-full moon came up over the foothills, I was riding my bike up old 32 to a campsite Lisa mentioned. I was a little worried about finding it in the dark, but everything worked out okay. It turns out there are plenty of good spots up there.
I had my tent pitched and my legs in a sleeping bag by about 8:30 or so. Half a can of Torpedo made it easy to close my eyes and start drifting off. I woke up several times in the night though, mostly due to the lumpiness and slope of the ground my tent was on.
I think the main reason why the park is "day-use only" is that the ground is too full of rocks and bumps to find a comfortable place for a tent.
When I woke up in the morning I watched the orange moon setting over the coastal range. It was surprising how fast it disappeared over the mountains once it was down by the horizon. It's hard to have a proper sense of scale and speed for the moon.
I took some film and camera-phone photos of the park, ate a snack and packed up my things. A few minutes later I was rolling back down the hill towards town, breakfast, and a shower.
What's nice about a short venture like this is that you don't need to stress too much about what to bring along. If you forget something vital you won't be without it for long.
Next time I'm going to bring some warm pajama pants though, and maybe a book.