July 16th, 2009

DebMcGrath

McGrath State Beach





Last weekend, some friends from church and I camped at McGrath State Beach, one of the state parks the Governator is making noises about closing. There were six of us spread across two campsites.

We had a fantastic, fantastic mini-vacation. What's not to love about ocean breezes cooling down what was a scorcher weekend anywhere else in the area? The sound of gulls, the lapping of waves, the smell of a campfire, and being far enough from LA to actually see that there are stars in the sky?

Splitting the cost of the camp fees plus the extra car fee, it came out to $21 per person for the entire weekend.

This seems outrageously cheap. I would have easily spent twice that without blinking.

And while I'm going to scream if the state legislature decides to raise my taxes again, I'd have no problem spending $10 for a state park day use fee instead of $8, where I am actually receiving some enjoyment from my expenditure.

So, I don't understand why we talk about closing parks when they could be managed to bring more revenue. The campsites were completely full all weekend, so it's not like they are sitting there unused. In a troubled economy, state parks are a great place for families to vacation without breaking the family budget. And this would still be true, even if they cost a little bit more.

summer quiet
the stars daring me
to count them