For some reason, my Midwestern brain gets a huge kick out of seeing cows in un-cowlike situations, like, say, with the ocean. Some of the most beautiful scenery on earth and….cows? A confusing combination.
I stopped a little ways down Hwy 1 to have a picnic lunch of the strawberries and trail mix I’d bought at the artichoke stand. Life was good.
Just south of Lucia was some slide damage that had closed Highway 1 for a few days prior to my trip. All the rain this winter made for some pretty extreme scenery — neon green hills and ragged rock faces. Many of the cliffs abutting Hwy 1 had netting over the rocks to prevent further slide damage. Patches of the road were also completely bereft of pavement….you’d be zipping along down the road at the safe and legal speed limit, when suddenly there’s be a neon orange “pavement ends” sign and — PLOP! — onto the Alaska Highway-worth construction gravel you’d be.
In this photo, you can really see how a lot of the slide damage wasn’t necessarily stuff falling down onto the road, but literally the road falling away down the other side as the cliff continues down to the ocean. Mother Nature wants her cliffsides in the ocean, and she doesn’t really care that man thought it’d be pretty to build a coastal road there. 😉
As always, I stopped to see the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas. Stephanie and I were last there at the end of January, when the pups were newborns — now they’re being weaned and are starting to display their adult coloration. This was also the start of the female molting season (which lasts until May or June, when the bulls return from sea).
I arrived at the San Simeon Lodge with enough time to have a beer and download the day’s photos before my SoCal compatriots arrived. We exchanged arrival stories and downed some more beer at the San Simeon Bar and Grill before making it an early night.
The cast of characters: Jerry (jjones-lg), Chuck (iPASOu), Erin (Brian’s niece), Brian (n2q), Nelson (nsalas), Jim (CAtourist), Tony (cal_tony), and Jordan (Rogue_Biker)
To be continued on day two…