San Simeon: Day 1

I can’t motivate myself to dig up my templates for the trips pages, so I’m going to post the trip write-ups as blog entries. Hopefully that won’t screw up anyones’ LiveJournal friends pages or anything.

I left Cupertino on Thursday just before noon. My first stop was in the Artichoke Alley of Hwy 1, in between Santa Cruz and Monterey. This is the Artichoke Capital of the World — even Marilyn Monroe got her start here as Artichoke Queen of 1947. Maybe these happy little fellas are hoping for such stardom, too?


Tourist season is ramping up for these little produce stops, and I met a couple of carloads of interesting people. I exchanged trip stories with a couple of older guys in one car while their dog barked excitedly and the driver’s sister (also named Carolyn) went inside to buy — you guessed it — artichokes. Carolyn was visiting from Chicago and used to ride a motorcycle…now she rides high-powered snowmobiles. 😉 Can’t fault her for that!

South of Monterey, Hwy 1 finally sticks to the coastline. I’ve passed this particular sign a dozen times but have never before stopped for it — it’s my desktop photo now. 😉


The weather cooperated for my jaunt down Hwy 1, which made me a very happy motorcyclist indeed. The ice plants were flowering alongside the road — I think they’re beautiful. They were originally planted to keep the sand dunes stable, and they just took off in the California climate. Ice plants are also known as Hottentot figs, which amuses me greatly for no particular reason.

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To be continued after lunch….

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