After a brief stay in Bakersfield, we headed west again toward the coast. Our destination was Morro Bay, a beautiful coastal town known for the giant rock (actually an extinct volcano) that overlooks the bay. We made an error in chosing our route, resulting in a very twisty and slow climb through the mountains while admiring the views over the cliffs with no guardrails... We made it through without incident although it was a white knuckle ride. We are very pleased with the campground and its location, right off the beach with wonderful views of Morro Rock on one side and rolling green hills on the other. We understand that the rolling green hills are usually rolling brown hills, but there was rain this year. Cattle and horses are happily grazing and the vineyards are everywhere. It is a very nice area to drive around. The town itself is a restaurant paradise right on the docks, with fishing boats pulling in and out, sea lions begging for scraps, and sea otters floating in the kelp next to Morro rock. Beware of the beggar squirrels, I'm fairly sure they would climb your leg for food. The water in the bay is clean, and the Pacific ocean is clear and blue. You really couldn't ask for much more.
We took a walk into town with the goal of aquiring some live dungeness crabs for dinner from a fresh seafood market/restaurant that we had visited earlier. The walk to town is a little under a mile and requires crossing some dunes, a beach, and wading across a small ankle deep stream. We were combining the errand with a dog walk as most of the town is extremely dog-friendly, right down to attached leashes and waterbowls in the outdoor eating areas of the restuarants. What we hadn't really planned for was how the crab is packed for sale. We brought one reusable grocery bag with us, thinking we had it under control. When Vicki came out of the market with four crabs, they were put in a large garbage bag, packed in ice and placed in a large box. The crab alone weighed ten pounds plus the probably ten pounds of ice. We did manage to get the ice and crabs in our bag without the box and we got even more exercise than we expected on the way home. Many lessons were learned, dungeness crabs are very lively, you only need one crab each, and the internet is very handy when trying to cook and clean live dungeness crabs. They were absolutely delicious!
My brother Lloyd (who lives here) invited us to stop by and visit him at Atascadero Lake where he runs a kayak and paddleboat rental business. He took us on a very nice ride around the lake on a gondola, complete with soothing music and flowers. It was relaxing, fun, and romantic. We've had nice visits with Lloyd and his family while here, including a bluegrass jam at a local restaurant where Lloyd, his wife Elita, and their daughter Molly all played and had fun. We also had excellent ribs at a place called MO's in San Luis Obispo.
Well, on toward San Francisco.