Day Thirty Six: Out On The Old Coast Highway: California (Solvang, Morro Bay, Big Sur)

(Events of Monday August 20th, posted Thursday August 23rd)

Sooo, the room I got at the Wine Valley Inn was not so hot. It was right on the parking lot and underneath the outdoor stairwell that accessed the parking lot. So, pretty noisy and had tom keep the blinds down all the time. And the maids came into my room five minutes before check out while I was indisposed. Awkward.

So after a little rhetorical “Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Awesomest of Them All,” we were ready to head out.


I decided to take another quick stroll around Solvang and pick up some pastry goodies from the oldest bakery in town. I also stopped in to possibly the only dog store that had NOTHING of interest for me.

And then it was time to be on the road again-for s stretch of driving I was really looking forward to-Route One, the Pacific Coast Highway, and one of the most breathtaking stretches of highway in the country.

Things got off to an interesting start when I spotted a dude hang gliding directly across the highway. If that was a lady, she is for sure the BAWOTD!

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And pretty soon the views turned into things like this…

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After a bit, we pulled in to Morro Bay a sort of run down little seaside town full of thrift shops and cheap souvenir stores.

The focal point of Morro Bay is the aptly named Morro Bay Rock, which is A) really cool looking, and B) a nesting place for lots of birds, including peregrine falcons. A lovely birder gentleman let me peek through his scope which was trained on a handsome male (falcon).

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One question: How big of an asshole do you have to be to vandalize a cactus?

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Annie and I strolled the neighboring beach for a bit, but it was gray and quiet and we were growing hungry, so I stopped in to a little French eatery for a soup and salad, and was delighted to see these fanciful bread creations adorning the walls.

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We drive a bit longer, and then, out of the blue, with no warning of the Awesome Bomb that’s about to be dropped in my lap, I see a sign for “Elephant Seal Viewing Point”. Ok, now I have my hopes waaay down, and I am fully prepared for this to be another bust like the “Bighorn Sheep Viewing Station” in Colorado, but what to my wondering eyes do appear???

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ELEPHANT SEALS!! Scads of them! Big ones! Little Ones! Fat Ones! Tiny Ones! They frolic in the surf, they BARKBARK at each other, they flip sand, they snuggle, THEY ARE ADORABLE!!

I finally manage to pull myself away from the insane amount of cuteness (mainly because it was chilly and windy) and we continue our drive through paradise…

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And finally we hit the big time…

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I decide to look for a camp a little earlier than usual as I’m concerned about availability, and I’m also hoping to have a little down time to actually enjoy it. I had a campsite in mind for the evening, but it’s another 30 miles down the road, and I don’t want to have to double back if it’s full. So Annie and I pull into the tiny but perfect LimeKiln State Park and I rustle up some healthy grub.

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The campsite is a little rough around the edges, but it does have its own private beach where I find the perfect size rock to prop against and settle in to watch the sun go down.

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I had a few more photos of Solvang and Morro Bay, but they don’t seem to want to load and I’m too far behind to waste anymore time on them.

One thought on “Day Thirty Six: Out On The Old Coast Highway: California (Solvang, Morro Bay, Big Sur)

  1. I had the opportunity to cruise the Pacific Coast Highway with a coworker a couple years ago when working at Vandenberg AFB. Awesome trip! Enjoy it!


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