There's not a whole lot to report for the day except it was pretty spectacular. Even with the fog and no sun, the views were just as glorious as I had hoped they would be. And there are many spots to pull over, the road is in good shape and a lot of the time is four lanes but even when two lanes is not too heavily traveled. I left the motel in Cambria right at 11:00 and got to the motel in Santa Cruz at about 6:30 I think so I drove a distance of 164 miles in 7-1/2 hours! All I can say is if you ever vacation in California, do more than go to Disney Land - drive at least some distance on the coastal highway. It's truly wonderful. I picked up several little brochures and such as I rode along and the most informative one was like a small newspaper with all the articles being about Big Sur which is a large portion of what the highway traverses. A closing quote to their article about article about Big Sur reads: "Highway 1 (the coastal highway) through Big Sur is a designated American Natiqonal Scenic Byway and a California Scenic Highway, an honor reserved for highways that are so distinctive they are destinations unto themselves." I liked that cause it sure was a major destination for me and I'm really glad I made it. :)
Incidentally, speaking of Big Sur, I always thought it was basically a town where all the beatniks once lived but found out that it is an area and a big one. You travel through it for 90 miles on the coastal highway and it is gorgeous, gorgeous country.
And that's about it. I'm going to post all the pictures I chose and if I see one that reminds me of something I wanted to say about it, I'll say it but mostly it will be pictures and mostly all looking pretty much the same - ocean or hills.
The first five I took at my first stop - the Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay. Really pleasant stop and very informative.
I used a tripod on this but it was just too much zoom. But this is as close as I got to the Hearst Castle that everyone asks am I going to visit. I didn't...just really didn't have any desire to. This was a trip about good food, wine, ocean and redwoods.
The next three are from the elephant seal viewing area near Piedras Blancas Lighthouse and one of two major breeding, "pupping" and resting sites for the seals. They're really not dead but it sure looks that way until you see some of them moving. And the ones out in the water (the small black dots mostly) are busy playing.
And finally - some blue sky, sunshine and WAVES...I was puzzled that for a lot of the trip, there were beautiful views, but there just weren't waves, the water was quite quiet. I thought there were always waves with an ocean.
And I really felt like I took more pictures after this, but this is the last one in the camera so I guess not. And actually, looking at my map of the highway, I see the Bixby Bridge was pretty much the last landmark type thing. I took Rt. 1/the Coastal Highway all the way here to Santa Cruz, but it switched back and forth from seeing the ocean to being more inland. I did get off to see if I wanted to explore Carmel-by-the-Sea cause I like the name, but it was getting darkish and I suddenly didn't feel like trying to find somewhere to maybe get a cup of tea so I got back on the road and headed toward "home". Had a nice dinner at the Firefish Grill on the Santa Cruz wharf with a delicious pinot noir wine from Sonoma and the winery was one that Heather and I incredibly enough had not visited! :)
Came back and rearranged my packing for about the 87th time so am all set for tomorrow. It was doing a light rain tonight when I came out of dinner so I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring. Hopefully if it's raining there will be at least some kind of road I could drive on through Big Basin State Park and see some redwoods from the car.
So, good night from a very contented ocean watcher.