Summer 2010 Murray Group Trip

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Elisa and Sawyer are organizing the 2010 Summer Murray group trip. The votes have been tallied, and we will be going to Montana de Oro on June 18-20 this year!

This trip will be pretty free-form -- we will have some planned activities, but you will be in a central location from which you will have freedom to do any sort of play you want. (For instance, if you'd like to lie on the beach and explore tidepools the whole weekend, it's very possible!)



We will be camping in Montana de Oro state park, 3.5 hours north by car from Los Angeles, on the ocean. Montana de Oro is one of California's largest state parks, and comes with rocky coastlines, tidepools, giant sand dunes and beaches. We will be staying at the Montana de Oro state park campground.

Costs per Person (rough)

$30 for gas, $10 for camp site, $15 for sleeping bag/tent rental, $15-35 for kayak, $55-65 for horseback riding. We will calculate food after the fact, but probably less than $50 for communal food, not including anything you buy for yourself (eg., in restaurants).

Tentative itinerary

  • Friday, June 18
    • meet at noon at steele lobby. drive to Montana de Oro (3.5-4 hrs) and set up camp. Short walk to beach, time permitting. Dinner at camp. (elisa dinner: pasta)
  • Saturday, June 19
    • morning: your choice of activity. Maybe a trip to the dunes or swim or surf, conditions permitting, or a hike.
    • afternoon: kayaking out to sandspit in Morro Bay. Dinner in Morro Bay.
  • Sunday, June 20
    • morning: horseback riding.
    • afternoon: hike the loop trail (surfing if possible?) including Oats Peak and possibly Valencia Peak and the shoreline.
    • evening: return by car to Los Angeles, perhaps getting dinner (Richard flies out from San Luis at 6:20)

Possible activities

  • Walk to coralina cove tidepools (30 min walk each way)
  • Watch sunset on bluffs
  • Sandboarding on sand dunes (10 minute drive, 30 min walk)
  • Surfing (wave size permitting. Sawyer will look at the forecast and rent boards accordingly. if you're interested and possibly want a board, let him know ($20) -- tips for catching a wave happily offered)
  • Hike up valencia peak (1-2 hrs each way)
  • Hacky-sacking
  • Read a book on the beach

Horseback riding

  • Sunday, June 20th, morning. We will have to split in two groups of max 8 people each. The first ride will depart at 10am, the second around 11.30 am. We will rent horses from this place, the cost is $55 per person.
  • This will be a beginner ride, so don't worry if you have never done this before.
  • Gear: closed toe shoes and long pants. The saddle leather can bruise the skin of your legs if they are not properly covered; I do not recommend heavy jeans, but a lot of people are fine with that. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes that you are not afraid of staining or ruining. Also, note that you might want to change after the ride...


  • Andrea Censi - Central Coast, any date (confirmed, +1 guest, bag pad tent space needed)
  • Dionysios Barmpoutis - San Gorgonio, 21-23 May only
  • Elisa Franco - any, any (confirmed +1 guest, pad tent space needed)
  • Floris van Breugel - any, prefers June 19 (confirmed)
  • Francisco Zabala - Central Coast, any date
  • Mumu Xu - Central Coast, June 19 only
  • Nok Wongpiromsarn - (confirmed, pad and tent space needed)
  • Ophelia Venturelli - Central Coast, June 19 best (confirmed + 1, bag, pad, tent space needed)
  • Richard Murray - any, any (confirmed, coming from SF area, somebody needs to pick up his bag/pad/tent)
  • Sawyer Fuller - any, any (confirmed)
  • Shuo Han - Central Coast, June only (confirmed, bag pad tent space needed)
  • Tim Chung - interested, unknown travel schedule could have conflicts
  • Ufuk Topcu - Central Coast, June only (confirmed +1 guest, bags pads tent space needed)
  • Vanessa Jonsson - any, any

Packing List

We may get good weather and be able to be outside, but otherwise we will have enough tents for everybody if there are bugs or rain.

  • 3 days of clothing and underwear, including wind protection and warmth for the evenings
  • sleeping bag & pad (unless we're bringing one for you)
  • flashlight/super cool headlamp with fresh batteries
  • toiletries- toothbrush/paste, sunscreen, bug spray, etc.
  • Plate or bowl, cup, and utensils (it's okay to bring tupperware :^P)
  • day pack
  • hiking shoes or boots, hiking socks (sneakers and socks will probably be fine)
  • water bottles (fresh water is available at the campsite)
  • money for lunch/dinner/entertainment in Morro Bay on Saturday and for car travel each way

other ideas/optional

  • swimsuit(s)
  • camera
  • games: balls, frisbees, cards, campfire games
  • shirt for surfing (if we go - and preferably not cotton so it dries quickly)
  • snorkel gear (optional- can rent individually from Wet Spot Rentals on Catalina for $10/day by calling 310-510-2229)
  • sunglasses (optional)
  • small first aid kit (optional but potentially useful)
  • lazy afternoon reading material
  • flip-flops for beach/showers
  • any necessary medications
  • hat for the sun

check on these:

  • towel(s) (are there are showers available at the campsite?)

For additional ideas, check out Mary's backpacking packing list, Packing List, though not all items are necessary for this trip.

Old stuff

Dates: Richard's availability is for the following week-ends (Both possible trips involve leaving some time during the day on Friday, either morning or afternoon).

  • (14-16 May is now out)
  • 21-23 May
  • 4-6 June
  • 18-20 June


Option 1. Backpacking in San Gorgonio wilderness (with option of climbing to the top of San Gorgonio , Southern California's highest peak).

    • This will be a 2-night, 3-day backpacking trip. Don't worry if you haven't done this before. We'll make sure you have the right gear (we will rent from the Caltech Y) and we'll plan the hikes so that everyone can enjoy them.


Option 2. Camping near the ocean in Montana de Oro state park, near Morro bay (Central Coast): hiking , kayaking , surfing (including lessons from Sawyer if conditions are reasonable), and horseback riding on the beach.

    • This will be a more leisurely option with little mandatory hiking. We will do the various activities as excursions from our campsite.