Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sunset 3-12-09

Mile 600 Reflections / Los Angeles

About 50 miles ago I had to say farewell to Highway 1. I wanted to get
to Los Angeles to watch the sunset and around here, Highway 1 becomes
the Pacific Coast Highway, winding through Ventura and Malibu and not
fast enough to get me to where I wanted to go. The 101 (yes Marie,
that's what it's called here) filled up like a sponge with traffic,
leaving me feeling like I wasn't on an adventure at all. However, once
I got here, I shed the freeways quickly, fleeing into the Hollywood
hills to find this view. I plan to spend a leisurely time watching a
beautiful smoggy sunset. I had to do a bit of four-limbed climbing to
get here, but it's totally worth it. Isn't it always?

Rincon Island

What is on Rincon Island that is so cool they people are willing to
build a bridge to it and then protect the bridge with double barbed
wire fences? I'm not going to find out today... Double barbed wire
fences are not my forte.

Carpinteria, CA

This is where Lauren, one of my best friends, lives. I tried to get in
touch with her to hang out, but it didn't work. Strange how someone I
used to see and talk to everyday, now is almost a stranger whose phone
number I don't have.

Mile 500 Reflections

For anyone who plans on driving down Highway 1, don't just watch the
ocean on your right. The mountains on your left are pretty sweet too.

Keep Going

After the relative peacefulness of Solvang and my failed (or at least
incomplete) Montaña de Oro and Isla Vista detours, I was feeling a bit
low on energy. I stopped at a beach just south of UCSB with the
intention of napping on the sand. However, I ended up walking to the
end of a nearby pier. While staring out into the ocean, I caught a
glimpse of two Gray Whales surfacing for air. I looked around, but
none of the fishermen seemed to notice. The second time they surfaced,
I took this picture, but I don't think you can really see them, so I
put the camera away and just enjoyed.

Those majestic whales seem to dawdle on their journeys, but they keep
going. It's time for me to do the same.

Isla Vista 2

Isla Vista Surf Company is open despite the construction, but
unfortunately they stopped making the hat years ago. Poop.

Isla Vista

Just stopped in Isla Vista - the college town adjoining UCSB - to see
if I could pick up a new copy of my favorite hat.

Railroad Bridge

This railroad bridge runs by a viewpoint stop about 30 miles north of
Santa Barbara. There are lots of lizards here.


When the speed limit signs reduced from 55mph to 35mph for no apparent
reason, I got suspicious. Then, on the south side of the road, the
reason became clear: Ostriches! If you don't believe dinosaurs that
could kill a man still roam the earth, you've got another thing coming.

Solvang 2

I'm eating an Æbleskiver. I'm not sure what it is or how to say it,
but it's tasty!


Solvang is a little Danish town a few miles off Highway 101. What is
it doing in central California instead of Denmark with all the other
little Danish towns? I'm not sure.

Mile 400 Reflections

A great sunset, a great sunrise, a wet campsite and a steak dinner.
That about sums it up. I'm increasingly finding that I want to return
to a lot of these places with friends or family. If any of these
postings strike your fancy, let me know and we'll go for a weekend.

Pismo Beach

It's the Pismo Beach clam! For some reason I confused Pismo Beach with
Muscle Beach, so the lady at the tourist info building was very
confused when I asked her where the bodybuilding stuff was. Pismo
Beach is famous for clams, not muscles.

Montaña de Uranium

I guess my plans have been foiled. At the base of my proposed route,
Diablo Canyon Road, is a pretty intense checkpoint. A really friendly
guard told me that I couldn't get to Montaña de Oro this way because
there's a nuclear power plant and access is (obviously) restricted.
Back to Highway 1. Sorry Kat.

Montaña de Oro

I planned on making it to Solvang (more on that later) for lunch, but
my friend Kat had really encouraged me to go to Montaña de Oro.
Montaña de Oro State Park is just south of Morro Bay, so I passed it,
but I felt that it was early enough to make a detour, drive to the
coast and then enter the State Park from the back. I'm here at San
Luis harbor and as you can see from the picture, there is no coastal
route. However, I think I found a route through the mountains. Kat,
this detour is for you!

Camping SLO 2

My tent this morning. Lots and lots of condensation, and here and
there, a bit of ice. Every single blade of grass in this field has to
be carrying a cup of water. My car is icy too! Well, back on the road.

Sunrise 3-12-09

From my tent in San Luis Obispo.