Morro Bay, California was established in 1545. 1545. Wow, that seems like a long time ago! What a cool place it is. We are currently staying at the Cyprus Morro Bay RV Park, two blocks from the bay. What fun it has been to be able to walk everywhere we need to go in this small, scenic fishing village. Our site, though small, is very comfortable. The owners of the RV park have done a beautiful job of bricking all the hard surfaces. It looks great and gives the small RV park a very comfortable feel - a place we would love to return to.
Our friends, Jay and Nancy, have been here with us for a few days. After visiting the Hearst Castle, we traveled back to Paso Robles to check out a few more wineries (as if we needed more wine).
(Thanks to blog readers John & Judy for the tip to visit the Opolo Winery. We went there first. Our friends, who know A LOT more about wine than we do, bought a half case to send home! We bought some, too. -- D.)
The scenery in the wine area continues to impress. Here are a few shots. Check out the shot of Nancy's playful pose at one of the wineries. (Sorry, Nance, couldn't resist posting this.)
Lots of other pretty scenery to see.
Our "wine cellar" that fits behind the slide-out in the front room of the motor home is now full. No more wineries for us for quite some time :-)
(Good thing we saved some wine boxes to transport all this stuff!! We also bought six bottles to take to our daughter, Robyn, in Los Angeles when we get there next week.)
The remaining time with our friends was spent exploring the nearby towns along the Pacific Coast Highway. Our long walk along Pismo Beach provided a great opportunity to walk off some of the great sea food we have been consuming.
There was a great climbing rock at the far end of the beach. It would have been foolish for me to climb all the way to the top, so I only climbed up half-way -- not foolish at all.
Dianne always tells me that she takes better pictures than I do. These photos that she took from the Pismo Beach Pier prove that she is right, as usual.
From Pismo we drove to San Luis Obispo, where we had the best clam chowder I have ever had, at the Splash Cafe. (Sorry, New England). In one meal I regained the five pounds that I lost at Yosemite!
Morning over - up the Pacific Coast Highway we went. Jay, the driver, slammed on the brakes as we passed the Hearst Ranch. Zebras! They were actually being stalked by a Coyote, but they did not seem to be the least bit concerned. How cool! (Dianne again: These zebras are descendants of the zebras William Randolph Hearst had as part of his exotic animal collection at Hearst Castle. Decades ago, the collection was dispersed to zoos around the country, but a few zebras remained. Eighty years later, and this little herd is still going strong. We saw about a dozen zebras altogether, but there are probably more than that roaming the huge Hearst ranch out of sight. They graze among the cattle and seem very happy there!)
After some quality time with the zebras, we traveled a few more miles up the highway to the beach-front home of the elephant seals.
I had hoped to see a few of these large sea creatures. I was amazed to see hundreds of them. We heard them snorting as soon as we opened the car doors. These were the sub-adult males. The larger adult males and the females will be arriving in a couple weeks to mate. The aggressive behavior that you see in the photos and the video is considered playful. The real fighting takes place as the adults stake out their territory and drive the sub adults away.
It was so much fun to see them lumbering across the sand like giant "Slinkies." Dianne took a short video of them in action.
On the way back to Morro Bay, we stopped at the tiny town of Harmony. Today it only has 18 people, but in its heyday it had a dairy that provided dairy products for the Hearsts. You can still hear the mooing of nearby cows waiting to be milked. There are also two unique artisan workshops worth visiting -- a glass works and a pottery barn. Cool stuff. No room for it in the motor home. Money saved :-) (Note to my Indiana friends: The pottery reminded me of the pottery in Pigeon Forge, TN. It's a good thing it wouldn't travel well, or I might have bought some. -- D.)
Jay and Nancy headed back to Indiana the next morning. The opening photo was taken from Dorn's Restaurant where we met for breakfast before they left. Quite a view, huh?
Dianne and I spent the next two days enjoying the ambience of Morro Bay. We hiked with both dogs to, and most of the way around, Morro Rock, the feature that dominates nearly every view in the area. The sky really was that blue in the second pic.
We sat on a bench, watching the surfers, and the continual pounding of the waves on the crescent beach.
After a long, long walk on the beach, we headed back to the village area. The last shot before the Whippet Picture of the Day shows the view that I see twice a day when I take the boys for their walks. I really need to spend a few hours just sitting on a bench here.
The Whippet Picture of the Day depicts Dianne and the boys before a long, long walk on the beach. Sadly, we don't have pictures of Chaplin returning to his puppyhood as he bounded along the sand at a full whippet run, stopping only to enjoy the strange new smells of the beach. He had such a good day that we repeated it the next afternoon. Oh, and I have to tell you that Jasper enjoyed chasing the sea gulls off the sand and back into the water where he felt they belonged. We will probably take this walk/run a few more times before we leave.