(Day 8–9) China Camp Campground

alex hays
4 min readAug 19, 2017


Today is another stupidly relaxing ride and get there with a good amount of sunlight left. I see a sign for ‘hiking / biking $7’ and a group campsite I assume is the place, so drop off all my stuff and bike close-ish (like 3 or 4 miles) to a food place to relax at for a bit.

It ended up being a super fancy cafe on this golf course and I felt pretty out of place, ordered a couple of beers because I apparently didn’t learn my lesson before, and stay there till sunset. I bike back to the campsite, stopping along the way to admire the setting sun and snap a couple pics. It was stupidly beautiful.

I set up camp, make a fire and sit by it for a good while. Finally sleep / wake up to someone telling me (in an annoyed voice) i’m not allowed to be camping there and it’s a hundred something a night and ‘for groups’. I think he was camping there with people that night and wanted me to gtfo. I realize i’d assumed the sign posted outside saying hiking/biking price was relating to that spot but it wasn’t at all, it was just general info. I apologize and pack up, leaving to find the place I was supposed to crash at out of interest. I eventually find it and am like ‘god damn i wish I could have hung with this other bike tourist person’, there was a bike and a tent there but nobody around.

I biked around a bit until I saw a spot beautiful enough to make coffee there and stayed to take in the scenery for a little while. I call up Bicentenial campsite close to SF and say ‘I know the answer is no, but do you have a spot’ and the guy says ‘actually, yes!’ and so I put my name down for it.

I stop at a starbucks for a bit in Novato and look for somewhere I can buy headphones as I’d lost my first pair at some point, bought gas station headphones that were straight trash and it was taking away from my enjoyment. The first pair i’d had were bad but these sounded like the musicians were using a toaster as a soundboard. I head to a target to buy some other cheapo headphones I know are half decent, google send me onto a railway line which was the first time it’d failed me.

Based on my almost perfect track record of never camping in the correct spot I want to get to Bicentennial before closing. I bust ass and get there about 2 mins to closing so I can talk to the people that work there and make sure everything is fine. Literally walk up as the person on staff is walking up to close the door.

I set up camp and say hi to some other campers. Wander around some, see sites, see the bridge from my view, and just generally get all meditative and relaxed. Night comes fast and I end up cooking food in the pitch black and then heading into my tent.