My brother picked me up at 6am on Sunday to take me camping. We had to go up to Carmel to pick up his trailer and then back down to Gaviota to camp with lunch in Salinas in between. Neither of us had been to Gaviota before so we weren't sure what we were up for-- crowds, loud generators running, lots of wind, not a lot of sleep and no dogs allowed on the beach (even though I took him on the beach at dawn when no one was around). Basically we were both disappointed with the situation. We went up to Solvang for coffee Monday morning since it was only 10 miles away and made for a very nice morning walk. We decided to pack up and make our way down the coast looking for a more attractive situation. Everything was full until we got to McGrath State Beach, which was surprisingly nearly empty. While did not have a view of the ocean, we hadn't had a view of it at Gaviota either. Dogs were not allowed on the beach here either but I was able to walk past the state beach easily on a nice path that dogs were allowed on and then enter the shoreline with Balt without guilt--not that anyone would have cared as no one else was on the beach! We had a grand morning but came home that my brother could get some work done and get back to his family since he had ditched them to take me out (although they were very welcome to join us, they had too many appointments to make the trip out). So we left the 75 degree weather for 107 back at my mom's but at least we had found success and had a great night of sleep. I hope we can make it an annual event.