Peak 780ft P300
Camp Hill

Jul 12, 2017
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profile

The family was heading to Santa Barbara for my daughter's UCSB orientation. Back in the day, my folks would never have considered such involvement in their children's college education. The only time they ventured onto the UCLA campus was for my graduation. I'm not blaming them, mind you. For one, with seven kids they simply hadn't the time to hold each of their hands through adulthood. And secondly, I'm not really sure why my presence is needed for freshman orientation. My thinking is along the lines that, if you can't figure out which classes to take upon entering college without your parent's help, then you might not be ready for college. I suspect the colleges and universities agree with me and this is really their way of placating the helicopter parents who can't seem to stop being directly involved in their kids' lives. Maybe they should get another hobby or maybe they shouldn't have stopped at one or two kids. Regardless, I was along to support the heli-wife who would be celebrating her birthday while we were in Santa Barbara. We stopped for an extra day in Pismo Beach, so I took the opportunity for a little Bike n' Hike™ because, well, I didn't really feel like outlet shopping with the ladies.

It was a pretty easy ride, about 15mi all told, but very enjoyable. The weather was exceedingly cooperative, around 70F with a nice breeze. Starting from the Oxford Suites along US101, the route roughly followed Noyes Rd inland to SR227 where I paused to climb Peak 780ft (440ft of prominence), then along the state highway to Price Canyon Rd which I took back to Pismo Beach with a second stop to tag Camp Hill. The summit of Peak 780ft is crowned by a private residence on one side. The route I had scoped out for this minor summit would approach from the south up a dirt road on an undeveloped piece of property with a For Sale sign out front. When I got to the saddle where SR227 goes within a quarter mile of the summit, I spied an unfenced, unsigned route directly from the roadway and decided it would be a faster way to reach it. The route goes right by several homes on either side, but no dogs or people came out to chase me off. Near the summit I went under two closely-spaced barbed-wire fences to avoid getting too close to the summit home and approach from the south for the last 30ft or so. Still, the highpoint is where three property boundaries come together and I was standing within three feet of the summit home's patio deck. A bit creepy of me, I readily admit. Luckily no one was home or at least no one noticed me and I spent only a few seconds taking pictures before heading back down. Sadly, the GPSr I was using as a camera had some difficulties and the summit photos turned out to be pictures of the sky and ground instead of the views overlooking the Five Cities areas.

I had originally planned just the one summit, expecting the inland weather to be much warmer and less-inviting. Because it was so nice, I headed northwest on SR227, a very nice rural ride through ranch, farm and vineyard areas, before turning left on Price Canyon Rd and taking that back towards the coast. Camp Hill is home to a Pismo hilltop reservoir adjacent to the local high school. Nothing inside the fence looks to be higher than the surrounding, accessible areas. Some technicians were working at the periphery of the fence where some cell towers are installed. After my short visit, I went through the St. Jude tunnel under US101, through downtown Pismo Beach and then back to our hotel a mile inland. Time for a shower and stage 11 of the Tour de France...

Anon 7 comments on 07/19/17:
Classic 1st paragraph. I love laughing.
Anonymous comments on 07/19/17:
Heli-wife. Who the hell is this guy? He's a great writer. You crack me up. Anon 7 thanks for the link. I'm a follower.
daughter comments on 04/30/22:
okay this was funny and thank you for holding my hand :)
Anonymous comments on 01/27/23:
Do you know how Camp Hill got its name? I have searched around everywhere and no one knows why its called Camp Hill. Any advice on who I could ask for a history of the place?
Names with 'Camp' are usually military-related, the site ofa permanent or semi-permanent encampment. In this case, the name can be seen on the 100yr old topo for the area: on LoJ. Choose 'Hist. 1885+' from the Map Types
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