Almost the Whole Pacific Coast - Winter/Spring 2016 travel blog


If you want to drive from north to south in California, no problem. There are a number of busy freeways running this direction. Today's trip took us less than 150 miles west, another challenging driving day. The Sierra Nevada mountains are so high we had to drive around them, but today's obstacle was the much lower San Bernadino mountains. We started in lush agricultural land - lemons, oranges, beef cattle, dairy cows, walnuts, pistachios, carrots, radishes, kale, swiss chard - if it's in your produce aisle, it likely came from here. Then we came to flat, dusty land filled with nasty signs about how Democratic politicians have created the water crisis. It was obvious that these folks were out of reach of the snow melt we saw from the Sierra Nevada (and the reality that California has been in drought for years). And then we came to those mountains. The road twisted and wound through rolling hills. At times Ken had to take our part of the road out of the middle. The only saving grace was the fact that hardly anyone else was on our route.

Finally we came to our pricey campground, a block away from the beach. I'm going to wait to photograph this beautiful spot, because the local prayers have come true. Rain is in the forecast the next few days and may keep us from enjoying the beautiful views and planned outdoor activities. The photos will look much better in sunshine.

The whole California coast from Los Angeles to San Francisco is spectacular. Morro Bay is notable for a large mountain that is plopped in the middle of the harbor, miles from any other mountain of equal size. It looms on the horizon, wherever we go. A local was recused from the top of the rock by helicopter today. Besotted with love and some pharmaceuticals, he had climbed to the top to propose to his beloved via FaceTime. If she had any sense, she said no. MB is one of a long string of charming beach towns. There are sure to be some seafood restaurants in our future.

Thursday is farmer's market day around here. We went to a small one here and saw all the products we saw growing in the fields for sale. When we go to farmer's markets at home, I sometimes wonder just how local the produce for sale really is. Here there was no question. I bought some strawberries as big as a child's fist. Their aroma was delicious and that first bite gave me a mouthful of sunshine. Then we went to San Luis Obispo for the big market and saw some of the same vendors again there. This market shut down a few blocks downtown and half the booths featured all manner of smoking meat for sale. It looked delicious, but there was nowhere to sit down and eat it. Eating ribs sitting on the curb is not our idea of a good time, so we went to a German restaurant where I had the best brussel sprouts ever. They were dusted with cinnamon and sugar and roasted to a potato chip crispness - not sprouts like grandma used to make.

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