Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 4th Idea: Trips to Closing State Parks

So, I'm sitting around on the morning of July 4th doing my usual internet stuff, and I see a post on my Facebook page about the further woes of the California State Parks and the budget deficits. 70 of our 278 parks are scheduled to close around September 1. Specifically I'm reading at article about a fellow who is driving around the state placing white donation buckets at these 70 Parks.

And I says to myself, "Self. What a nice July 4th gesture it would be to donate a few bucks to each park." But that would require an entire month's income. And then one of those wild hairs took hold of my gray matter.

I've spent a chunk of the past 48 hours assembling a list the 70 parks scheduled for closure. I've organized and categorized them geographically. And while my "research" is far from complete - I've decided to go for it.

I'm going to see how many of these 70 state parks I can visit in the next two months and write this blog about my trips.

Of the 70, I've only visited one official park site: Twin Lakes Beach in Santa Cruz.

In fact I was just there a few weeks ago having dinner at the Crow's Nest and walking out to the lighthouse. I wasn't even aware it was a state park! In addition, I have been to the Salton Sea, but not to the formal park site.

The state anticipates full closure to drag on into mid-year 2012, but a couple of the parks are already closed, and many are already operating under reduced hours.

It is unlikely I will get to all 70 parks by September. Time, money and stamina may fall short. I will have to resist the temptation to visit other sites of interest nearby the parks. I plan to always pack my meals and not spend time at restaurants or souvenir shops.

Two of my personal rules on these trips will be to photograph an official park sign, and to post a link to information about helping each particular park (if available.)

I welcome friends to join me on one or more excursions if you have the time and interest. Note that my car does NOT have air conditioning and depending on the destination, I will have a dog in the back seat.

I begin my excursions this Friday to two State Historic Parks in Sacramento: The Governor's Mansion and the Leland Stanford Mansion, both in downtown Sacramento.

I'm excited! I've often said that a traveler can be long satisfied without ever leaving the state of California. It's time to check out a few - maybe 70 or so - of those spots!

Here's a link to view the parks scheduled for closure.
See you at the parks.



  1. I just wrote a long comment but it got time to repeat it....go Lucy....Deane sometimes I HATE blogs&%%#%&^&%

  2. This is just brilliant Lucy and admirable in the most patriotic way... This almost sounds like it could be a kickstarter project. Or Indie a go go... would be good to have help with the gas. Matter of fact, I'll donate some gas money myself! Are you still using the old PR box in P-ville?

  3. Rats Deane. Guess we'll have to chat "in person" SOON! Yes Ann that's still my address and ... wow... thanks... mucho appreciates.

  4. Sounds wonderful, Lucy! I just got back from a two week tour of New England. Maybe we can talk about your itinerary. I'f love to visit a few of the state parks.

  5. I was wondering if you'd be up for a couple of jaunts Greg! I'll keep you posted - and have your photo too.!

  6. I look forward to your updates Lucy!

    Thanks for taking the time to chronicle many of our great State parks. It's unfortunate so many will be closed down due to the budget crisis. Perhaps one day, they will be reopened, properly funded and maintained.


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