Tag Archives: California

It was a gorgeous autumn afternoon in Morro Bay and we took a stroll around town before having a meal with sunset views.

Board walk sunset - Morro Bay CA

This memorial seat is pretty impressive. Nick must have been a rev-head extraordinaire to warrant a bench like this.

Memorial bench - Morro Bay CA - %22Thanks Nick%22

This morning, we faced towards the east and took (roughly) the direction of Route 58 to Mojave before heading north on 14 towards Ridgecrest where we’re staying the night before going to Death Valley tomorrow.

Today was solar farms and squirrels and even drier landscape than yesterday. We passed by place names like Pumpkin Center and Weed Patch Highway and saw our first Joshua Trees. Where irrigation is possible during the drought, we saw dairy cattle, grapevines and peach trees. Wind turbines are working well in these wide open spaces.

We stopped off near Mojave to eat some lunch and watched this long freight train pass through. Behind us was the Mojave graveyard of 747 planes.

Freight train near Mojave CA

Red Rock Canyon gave us a taste of what we might see tomorrow as we venture north and further inland.

Morro Bay to Ridgecrest - Red Rock Canyon area

We’re cruising around for a week with no fixed plans until next Wednesday when I lob into Asilomar, near Monterey, for a few days. After a late arrival into Oakland last night, we set off in a rental car to motor down the spectacular coastline that includes the legendary Big Sur.

You’re nobody unless you’re driving a Mustang convertible along this route. I was playing Ford Focus Sally with the wind from the car vents blowing through my hair. It was a magnificent experience, despite the lack of an apparently compulsory rented Mustang.

Pigface plants and the invasive pampas grass seemingly hold the coastal cliffs together (that, and wire netting to prevent rocks sliding onto the road).  California has been in drought for the past 4 years and the landscape is showing it. Many trees are in severe stress and the grasslands are very dry.

On the wildlife front, we caught sight of a number of Stellar’s Jays as well as a hummingbird. Much of the coastline is protected and many pelicans and elephant seals call this stretch home.

California Central Coast 1

California Central Coast 2

Elephant seals 3Elephant seals 1