We left the great city of San Diego
to make our way north up the coast of Southern
had done this before so we would be stopping and staying in different places
this time. With so many great places to
visit on the 800km (500 mi) drive to San
Francisco, it is almost impossible to do it in one
trip, always more to see ‘next time’.
First we have to pass through the cities before we get to enjoy the
|City freeway sights in Southern California|
We followed I-5 through the cities in the Los Angeles
area to Hwy 101. The freeway and city sights are the main
view, including the ‘Hollywood
” sign in the
distance as we made our way. Once we passed
through the Santa Barbara
area we had few
opportunities to see the ocean yet but enjoyed the interior scenery on Hwy 101
before spending the night at Buellton,
|Morro Bay, California|
Our first close-up view of the ocean from the highway is on Day 2 at Morro Bay
after passing Pismo Beach
, where we turned onto Hwy 1, the Pacific Coast Highway
. The clouds are dark and we get a bit of rain
but we manage to find brighter skies up ahead and many more beautiful ocean
The beach up ahead is calling to us. We decide it is time to have lunch so we park
and take some time to stroll along the beach.
What we did not realize until a park warden told us just as we were
leaving is that no dogs are allowed on the beach, “even the little cute ones”. He also told us that we’d walked through a
protected area for the Snow Plover but no signs were there to tell us about
these restrictions. Rule-breaking rebels,
are we! He said he’d get someone to post
|San Simeon, California|
The beach had a few visitors but the one I noticed first was
the hawk flying over. He may have seen
“the little cute one” and thought he would check her out for lunch but he
passed over without a problem. I am
guess this to be a red-shouldered hawk.
|Weathered rocky shoreline|
Maggie was oblivious to the hawk and enjoying her walk along
the beach, on the trail of something interesting in the rocks. The rock erosion shows years of sand and
waves splashing up against them. It is
amazing how much force that would have to erode to this degree, they look like
the bubbles in the Aero chocolate bar.
|Hearst Castle at San Simeon, CA|
is a big tourist
draw in this area. We’ve never been but
there is always a parking lot full of cars and buses bringing many there to
have a tour and see the splendor of the place.
We did once tour the parking lot, though.
|Elephant Seal plays in the water|
A highlight of the day was our stop to see the elephant
seals. I’ve put together a page
of them, click
here to view that and enjoy.
We could have stayed there for hours watching them all enjoy their playtime
in the water or naps in the sunshine.
We did see some brown pelicans fly by. These are the smallest of the pelican family
and found along the coastal waters of the western and southern states. They dive into the water for their food,
unlike the white pelicans but are no competition for the food supply with the
fasting elephant seals, causing no disturbance for them.
|Vintage car parade|
We saw a vintage car in the Elephant Seal parking lot but
enjoyed seeing many more as we headed north along the Pacific Coast Highway
for our next
stop. We must have seen several dozen
vintage cars that had driven down through the Big Sur
We’re about to drive up the winding Pacific Coast Highway of
Big Sur where we will have few opportunities to pull over but we can enjoy the
view of the water from the scenic drive.
Our destination is Marina Dunes north of Monterey
. I will share some of the sights of the day on