Thursday, January 6, 2000

Hello from Morro Bay, California!

My first morning on the trip, and I slept in a bit!  I was tired from all the previous days of preparation, and I did not get up until 0730.  After checking out, I headed south on El Camino Real, as I decided to head to the coast by crossing the peninsula on Route 84 west (Woodside Road,) an enjoyable and pretty drive. After passing communities like Woodside, and driving by the famous Buck's Restaurant, La Honda, and Alice's Restaurant (on the Skyline Drive,) I reached Route 1.  

I first headed north as I needed to do a couple of things in Half Moon Bay before I left.  First was the ceremonial visit to the Pacific Ocean, and getting splashed by a wave (I was hoping to just touch the water, but this wave came along and.....)  I then proceeded east up Route 92 to the Skylawn Cemetary.  In 1995, I lost my brother to an extended illness, and he is buried in a cemetery that overlooks Half Moon Bay.   I wanted to stop by before I left.  

I had a chance to repack the car before heading on, which was a good idea since I had thrown most of the final items in the car at the last minute in the dark.  Feeling that the cargo was much better organized and secure, I drove to an overlook by the Route 92 and 35 junction, took one last look to the East towards the beautiful area surrounding the Crystal Springs Reservoir, took a picture, and continued down Route 92 to Half Moon Bay, where I turned south on Highway 1, the PCH, the Pacific Coast Highway!

My plan was to head towards Santa Cruz for lunch at a favorite restaurant, then drive along the coast to Capitola, rejoining Highway 1 and heading south towards Morro Bay, where I would make my turn to the east.  Highway 1 has several limited access sections, which put  32 "highway" miles on the trip, but it would be many more before my car and I would travel on the "fast path" again!  

I headed south out of Half Moon Bay along the coast, passing by many beautiful scenes, including the Pigeon Point Lighthouse near Pescadero.  I arrived in Santa Cruz just after 1300, and stopped for a delicious lunch at La Mission.  They have this chicken that I find delicious, and I highly recommend it!  Following lunch, I cruised through Santa Cruz, taking a drive on Santa Cruz Wharf, (see the car picture below,) driving along Cliff Drive, and staying along the coast until reaching Capitola.  After a visit to Avalon Visions, a favorite establishment, I returned to Highway 1 and continued southward.

It was a beautiful day for a drive, and I had not been on the PCH between Big Sur and San Simeon before.  It was incredible, as anyone who has taken the drive knows, with amazing views every turn.  The sun set in a most beautiful way into the Pacific, the final ocean sunset I will see for a while. 

I settled for lodging in Morro Bay, California, and had Chinese for dinner.  I spent much of the night reflecting on the day's journey, forming my goals for what I wanted from my journey, and preparing to slow down and enjoy the trip!

 

Hotel: Best Western El Ranch

Gas: $1.68

Click on picture to get enlarged view:

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The view to Half Moon Bay.

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One last good-bye to my brother before my long journey.

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Along Highway 1 south of Half Moon Bay, with a barely visible flock of birds flying by.

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This is from an overlook at the start of Route 35 just south of the junction of 92, looking to the east.

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Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Pescadero.

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Santa Cruz along Cliff Drive.

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Santa...

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Cruz...

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Pier!

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An interesting car on Santa Cruz Wharf!

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Along Highway 1, south of Monterey Bay.

 

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A house high atop this hill!

 

 

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Another view of the California coast, looking north.

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An interesting bridge along Highway 1.

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The sun setting near San Simeon.  Although I did not realize it at the time, This was to be the first of many beautiful sunsets I was about to experience!

 

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Copyright 2001 Igor N. Nikishin

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