Monday, June 10, 2013

Cambria, Part 1

A few years ago, Julie and I stayed in Morro Bay, on California's central coast.  We are back on the coast, but this time we are here for a week and are staying about 20 miles north in the little town of Cambria.

This part of the coast has the advantage of almost no temperature swings, either day to day or even month to month.  We have lows in the 50s and highs in the 60s every day.  On the drive down from the San Jose airport, we hit 106 degrees in a town about 25 miles from here.  Amazing what the coastal currents can do.

Unfortunately that same weather can bring the "June Gloom".  This is the notorious cloud cover and morning fog.  The forecast predicts that it will clear by 11:00 each morning, but so far that has been BS.
This was taken on the first evening here and the only time we saw a sunset.
For the weekend, we had our brother-in-law Marty drive in from Fresno to stay with us.  Wish he could have stayed longer.  He's always a lot of fun to have around.
One of our to-do's was to hit the Hearst Castle.  It's only about 10 miles north of here.  I enjoy seeing it but "Wasteful Willy" Hearst sure knew how to go over the top.  Funny to hear how the 250,000 acre ranch was the smaller one in his collection. He had one down in South America that was 1.6 million acres.
Marty and Julie at the castle.
I chose to mirror this lovely statue's pose.  Marty decided to give it a hug, even after the hundreds of "don't touch anything, anywhere" warnings.  Yes, he got scolded.
A few miles north of the Hearst Castle is Elephant Seal Beach.  It's great that they named it that so that all the seals know exactly where to go.  These guys have group napping down to a fine art.
I'm not sure why being covered in sand makes life better, but clearly it does if you are an elephant seal.  There was almost always at least one flippering up a sandstorm.
We also made a trip down to Morro Bay for a hearty breakfast and to find my sea otters.  They were hanging out in their kelp beds, but the light was so grey and flat that I couldn't get much of a photo.  I'll try again another day.
This gull was pretty entertaining.  He had an odd looking fish and continued to pound it over and over on the rocks.  I would guess that he was trying to stun it into submission, but I am pretty sure it was already dead or unconscious.  Just eat the damn thing and get on with your day.
You'll probably have to enlarge this to see the detail, but every little black speck in the water is a surfer.  There must have been a hundred of them.  There must be some pretty complex rules for deciding who gets the next wave.
We stopped in the little town of Harmony on the way back to Cambria.  Total population, 18.  It has a glass blower, some pottery, and a teeny little wedding chapel with a door that looks like a giant wine cask.
Oh yeah, and a post office.  If you ever wonder why the US Postal Service gets pissed off that congress won't let it close a lot of rural offices, remember this place.  It has a post office serving a town of 18.  It is a few miles from Cambria, Morro Bay, and Cayucos, all of which are decent sized towns.
And we will end today's post with a little humor.  Being a marketing person, I know how you tend to stretch the truth to get people to be more interested in your product, like this resort.  If you looked at this sign (and their magazine ads) you would think:

  • On the beach
  • Has a pool
  • Has a golf course (notice the art work)

Reality sets in:

  • To get to the beach, you have to cross the highway, and then it is more boat ramp than beach.
  • They really do have a pool.
  • The picture below shows one of the nine holes on the golf course.  The green is just mowed grass.  You can't putt on it because the grass is normal lawn height.  Of course, that doesn't matter because there isn't actually a hole.
Enjoy your stay!  Psych!
... and the goods news is that we are not staying at San Simeon Pines.
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