We took a day off today and are spending an extra night in Cambria CA, which is along highway 1 click HERE to see where it is on a map. Yesterday was a short but fantastic day of riding with clear skies, light traffic and warmer temperatures. My on board thermometer actually got up to 61, a new record high for the trip.
Somehow, we scored a primo room at the Cambria Landing Inn. When we walked in this is what we saw. Yes, not only is that the ocean right out our window but those are authentic La-Z-Boy chairs!
The sun was just setting and the corner, second floor room with a fireplace and balcony was perfect. I immediately made a u-turn and asked if the room was available for another night, yes, and at a discount too.
I ran upstairs for a few sunset pictures (hey – what is a travel blog without sunset pictures! And besides, sunsets like this can be rare in Seattle.)
Ok, just one more….
How far did we get yesterday? Here are the stats:
So, another wimpy day of riding but that’s what happens when we stop at places like this:
An art gallery made out of old wooden water tanks.
Or keep stopping to admire the views
Here is a shot I took riding with one hand taking a picture with the other over my shoulder (kids, don’t try this at home).
We eventually came to this most phenomenal place, an Elephant Seal rookery. I thought I was looking at a bunch of rounded boulders at first then noticed they were mammals. These guys were Huge! As big as 5,000 pounds.
They seemed pretty happy.
They come here in winter go give birth, here is baby dinner time.
Nap time after feeding
On the way back to the bike we came across a bus load of tourists from abroad. They were totally fascinated by the local wildlife.
After spending way too much time watching the Elephant Seals we resumed our path south along the coast. We knew from the signs every few miles that we were approaching the Hearst Castle built by William Randolph Hearst over some 30 years until it was completed in 1947. For one hundred miles Deby and I had been going back and forth in our headsets debating weather to stop or not. I was leaning towards stopping and I think Deby could have kept going. Countless friends had admonished us not to miss this landmark but what tipped the scales was the docent we spoke with at the Elephant Seal rookery that insisted we visit, told us which tour to take and recommended places to stay in Cambria. That did it, we reserved a tour for 9:30 the next morning.
I took a few pictures but if you really want to learn about the castle, the art and the man I recommend checking out the website HERE.
I have to post only one picture that I thought was too funny to not mention. First the back story. The tour started in the visitor center and then a bus took us up a 5 mile winding road to the castle while a recording gave a brief history of the road, scenery and the castle. When we arrived we were greeted by our tour guide who reviewed the rules with us. In short there was one rule – don’t touch anything. He repeated it over and over and over. The priceless treasures, oil on our hands, the terrible things that would happen if we touched anything. Seriously he told the group this every 5 minutes for the whole one hour tour.
After the tour we arrived back at the visitor center and they had a small museum with more history and some artifacts from the house. In the last room before the exit they actually had a touching room. I suppose in order to thank us for not touching anything in the castle and to satisfy our curiosity about what real marble or bronze felt like they had a variety of things we could touch all we wanted and it was encouraged. Part of the display was pointing out the damage done by people touching. An example was the following piece, …. really…. THAT’S where people want to touch the bronze? Says something about human nature.
Tomorrow we leave Cambria, highway 1 and the coast to make our way into la la land (LA). We’re looking forward to visiting our long time friend Dave in Burbank so there might not be a blog entry for a day or so. Don’t forget you can follow our progress HERE and click HERE to see more pictures in our SmugMug gallery.
Later, Donn and Deby