Answered Prayer | Steep Ravine Campground

I had a favorite campground on this trip. One I'd go back to in a heartbeat. One that must be reserved months in advance so I'd better plan for that heartbeat. This place is gorgeous. Everyone in their right mind should be standing in line to save a site.

And we almost didn't get in.

As in, there was a gate. Locked with a combination and guess who forgot to confirm my reservation and get the code? Ya, me. And we got a bit lost trying the find the place because by the time we reached Stinson Beach it was DARK. It takes a bit longer to drive places when the roads are curvier than my small intestine.

So, do you want to hear the story about our middle-of-the-night [6:30pm, but you know] quest to break into our campground? Read on. :)

I'll set the scene for you. Even though it's only 6 or 7 o'clock, it's really dark. We've just driven over from Angwin, where we went to church and had lunch with family. Of course, we didn't want to leave, so we started driving later than we should have. After a bit of tearing around and up and down very steep roads looking for our campground, we finally drive by the sign {and the gate} that reads Steep Ravine Campground. My relief was followed very quickly by OH NO. I check to see if the combination lock is just hanging, but no -- it's secured. I have no clue what the numbers are to open the thing. Buzz is asleep in his car seat {cause it's dark, ya know} and Pete is listening to me sigh and cry and think out loud. I'm listing off our options, trying to decide what to do. I'm in a bit of a panic.

We've got a few options, fortunately. We don't know how far past the gate the campground is, so we can carry all our stuff in and walk until we find it [!]. We can wait and see if someone might come unlock the gate. We can give up and find a hotel in Stinson Beach. But I really wanted to stay at this campground which was described as being really cool. And we don't ever want to give up and buy a hotel room. Nope.

At some point in the middle of all this, Pete says..."Mom, we should pray." You're right, baby. Mama's fretting. So we thanked God for our safety thus far and asked Him to help us solve this where-to-spend-this-night problem. We even made a few suggestions. Maybe He could bring someone up from the campsite who needed to go out?

We sat for a moment or two, then began moving toward option one. We'll try walking. I gather our sleeping bags and pillows, trying to figure out how to carry everything. Pete can carry his pillow and maybe his sleeping bag. I'll carry one tent, the other two sleeping bags and my pillow and the mats and...okay, the boys can share a pillow and we'll all sleep in the same tent...can I carry that much stuff? It's time to wake up Buzz and get us and our stuff across the road {we'll have to leave our car parked on the other side of the road and walk across}. I'm unbuckling his seat-belt when I see headlights coming from a direction that is very much not a car on the highway. I flip my head around, see that the car is coming up from behind the gate, tell the kids to stay put, and run toward the car excitedly saying "do you have the code for the gate?" "are you coming out?" "can you let us in?" "we have a reservation, but forgot to get the code!"

And he was a very nice man going out to get mayonnaise and ice for his cooler and he would be happy to let us through and also give us the code for the gate. 5486 5486 5486 5486 5486 We all repeated the code as we drove down the long winding more-than-a-mile-road-with-cliffs-on-both-sides down to the campground. Once we parked in the car lot we still had a good 1/8 mile to walk to our campsite.

We're thanking God for His perfect timing and provision even amid my carelessness. We find our campsite with the headlamp and set up, all climbing into the one tent {which ended up being so cozy and special} and gazing up through the mesh tent to the millions of stars above. We're lulled to sleep by the ebb and flow of the waves as they crash on rocks below. And we really have no idea what a glorious place we're in until the next morning when the sky lightens and the birds start to sing.

^^There's the campground down below -- seven environmental sites out on the point, with views of the coastline to both the south and north. Deer wandering about, flowers blooming, quiet tenters doing yoga and breathing in the salty-spray-infused air. It's amazing. This photo was taken about halfway up the steep, winding road that leads to the highway.

Trip Details:
Steep Ravine Campground, with reservations available through Reserve America. We stayed in site 1 - Abalone. Site 5 was really nice too, with little rocks to climb around on. Please note that there is a LOCKED ENTRANCE GATE on one side of the highway. ;)

This campground is in the Marin Headlands, north of San Francisco. It's a perfectly gorgeous area that demands a longer stay with more time for exploration. I really hope we can go back sometime. Other people have enjoyed this campground too -- see here and here and here {there are rustic cabins if you prefer that!}.