Elephant Seals, Hearst Castle, A day off

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).

Looking forward

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

If you want to learn more about these amazing mammals click HERE. Even better, click HERE to see the live web cam that is on during daylight hours.

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


7 thoughts on “Elephant Seals, Hearst Castle, A day off

  1. Dear friends,

    it is very nice that you are on this journey!!! I hope you make it alright!

    I read you are meeting on 12-10 in San Diego, if you come this way (Ensenada) I will like to invite you some tacos/beer or something like that! Hey maybe if the dates when you cross are a Saturday/Sunday maybe ride with you from the border or close by!
    I know you have been here but if you need anything just let me know!


  2. I would’ve taken an extra day …that’s what travel is all about right ? Discovery , enjoyment , soaking in the new sights …which are phenomenal , by the way . You guys know how to travel , for sure !!

  3. I am interested to see how you will rank Hwy 1 down the Cali coast 3 months from now when you complete your trek.
    Thanks for bringing back so many memories to me! Sal

  4. Very cool pics and text! Sunset shots were great. Careful with those “over the shoulder shots” Donn. Next you’ll be standing backwards on the bike roaring down the road taking video of Deby. Carrie and I are thinking of a ride there when retirement looms. Hey that is pretty soon! Great blog. Can’t wait for the next installment.

  5. What a great room with a view! Glad to see you are in better weather now. Love the posts and pix. I can see on Spot Walla where you are as I write this: Taluca Lake, CA. I used to work there at the Disney Studio. Wave to Mickey as you go by 🙂

  6. Hi Donn & Deby!
    I just found your blog via Sound Rider. I’ll be following along on your adventure, hope that’s OK 🙂 Good for you two for living the dream.
    I read Moto Raid, but will have to dig it out and read it again.
    I’m planning on the Squatch again this year, and also hope to do the Rally in the Gorge.
    Be safe & have fun!

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