Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Morro Bay 2021 - Perfect Family Time with Robyn and Atul at "The Rock"

Roger here...  The trip through the hot, hot deserts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California were definitely worth it.  We finally arrived in Morro Bay on the Central Coast of California, where we connected with our very talented oldest daughter, Robyn, and her amazing and equally talented  husband, Atul.  Robyn and Atul drove up from LA to meet us for three wonderful days.

Chronologically, this is not easy to write --- many overlapping themes.  Sooo.... I will attempt to compose this particular post by those themes.


We made several extremely hot desert stops in Ehrenburg, AZ, and Desert Hot Springs and Lebec, CA along the way.  When we merged onto "the" 5 from " the" 210 from "the" 10 (California talk), we merged into a parking lot of Fourth of July holiday traffic returning home.  I enjoyed humming the theme from LA Story while Dianne rolled her eyes. 


As we eventually gained some speed, wildfires became an ever-present feature.  This photo shows our hard-working heroes protecting us on a scorched slope.  

We spent the night at the top of what is known to all people in LA as the "Grapevine".  It was a beautiful, albeit warm, stop in a higher altitude in the fringe of the LA area.  

The next morning, we set an all-time record for towing our Airstream --- 40 mpg!  This occurred after several miles of towing.  Unfortunately, we got gas at the top of the Grapevine, so the "after refuel" numbers  were all downhill.  It was fun anyway, watching our mpg go up - up - up!


After passing through the wine country of Paso Robles we arrived at our destination, Morro Bay, where the temperature was in the mid-60s --- what a relief!   (Our first comfortable temperatures since weeks before we left our hot home in Mission, Texas -- D.)

Our campsite was in the middle of the continuous activity of beach-goers.  

Views of the iconic Morro Rock were a dominant feature in all parts of the campground.

No problem here.  No grass to be found :-)

We took the dogs to the beach after setting up the campsite.  It was conveniently accessible from the
back of the campground.

(Surf was up, so we were able to watch the surfers do their thing.  The doggies loved all the beach smells.   Poquita got the "zoomies" while on her leash so she ran 'round and 'round me. -- D.)


While we waited for Robyn and 
Atul to arrive, we followed the Embarcadero walking path into the harbor area of town.  In less than a mile we arrived at a working harbor, surrounded by fishing and pleasure boats.  There were also  restaurants and shops.  When Robyn and Atul arrived we drove to their motel and made plans for our first dinner.


The rest of the blog will be in categories with no particular chronology.  The pictures below show the four of us in a variety of settings.

Atul drove us uphill in the state park on two evenings.  One evening we took a short hike.   There were spectacular views from the high vantage point.

Up the hill we go.  Lots of steps!

A little later in the evening and further up the hill, WOW!


On the evenings that we weren't traipsing around the state park, we enjoyed wandering around the harbor area and the town.  Morro Rock dominated most of the views.

Robyn took this stunning photo.  Look at those clouds!


We enjoyed wonderful food here.  We ate out for all lunches and dinners.  No diets during these days!  The fresh seafood was so tasty - shrimp, cod, halibut, crab cakes, scallops......  Here are some random photos.

Raspberry infused ale at the Libertine Brew Pub

One of our lunches was at the Shine Cafe (in town).  It is an off-the-wall vegan restaurant with lots of atmosphere.  
Robyn guided us through the menu.  Really good food
Dianne's Black Bean Tostada

(It was so-o-o-o good! -- D.)

Juice Shots!  Atul introduced us to a new experience.  These (very tangy and intense) shots were meant to raise our energy levels.  Ours included: ginger, lemon juice, turmeric and black pepper.  They were actually pretty good!


Sea Otters were ever-present in the harbor area and along the bay walk to Morro Rock.  They are usually chillin' on their backs ---- occasionally diving under water for a snack.  Be sure to notice the young otter hanging on to its mother's neck.  I added a video of a black seal invading the resting otters, so check it out as well.  The video is better viewed if you switch to full screen.  The seal entertained us all by twirling around and around in the water.   A photo of a Western Gull chick is yet to come.


A cut-off along the embarcadero walk allowed us to walk along the bay and directly to Morro Rock.  Good times.

(Robyn is one of the few people who walk as fast as I do. -- D.) 

Dianne identified this fluffy chick on a Morro Rock ledge as a Western Gull.  It was so camouflaged!  Once she saw one, others became visible over all points of the rock.

Robyn is emulating this statue honoring the wives of the fishermen, waiting for their safe return.

You cannot walk all the way around the rock, but before reaching the end, hundreds of man-made cairns appear.  Just think of the efforts of all the people who assembled these interesting works of art.  

(There were arches and bridges and every rock combination you could imagine.  So fun!  -- D.)

You cannot tell from this photo, but I am trying to highlight a "bridge."

Our time with Robyn and Atul was exceptional.  We feel so fortunate to have had this time with them after our year of virtual isolation due to the pandemic.  

The parting shots show our furry family:

Please don't force me to look at any more rocks! -- Bandido says

A very patient Atul and Poquita without a nose :-)

In real time we will be in Redwoods National Park tomorrow for a week-long stay in the tall trees.  We have heard that cell-phone and wifi coverage will be very spotty, so you might not hear from us for a while.


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