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San Luis Obispo, California to Lucia, California

Salinas, California

March 10, 2021

The following describes my travels yesterday. I have a slideshow to go with it but I need WIFI to upload it. My campground for tonight does not offer tgst luxury. Hopefully I’ll post the slideshow tomorrow.

Here are a couple of teaser photos from my campground last night:

Today (March 9th) I drove the PCH from SLO to four miles north of Lucia (pronounced Lou-see-ah). That’s the point where the northbound part from LA of the PCH stops as the road is closed because of a mudslide that caused part of the road to slide into the ocean. There were a few of us adventerous types driving to the end, but there weren’t many. As a result the road was pretty quite in both directions for the last 30 miles of the drive.

But I did make it into Big Sur country, and it did not disappoint. Even though it was a mostly cloudy day the scenery was awesome. I was surprised that the ocean seemed more blue along this part of the coast. I’ll need to investigate that. What I thought about most during the drive was why and how. It is amazing to have the highway so close to the coastline but there must have been an easier way. I’ve driven the Million Dollar Highway in Colorado and at points the PCH rivals that highway in terms of difficulty of construction. For some reason (regarding how) I don’t envision the engineers in the early 20th Century having the tools to build such a highway. But I guess prior to then engineers were laying rail lines through the Rockies. Very impressive.

My goal was the make the round trip in a few hours. That didn’t happen. I got to the “end of the road” about 4 pm. Six hours after I started. Lucky for me there is a National Forest Service campground just south of Lucia. They are booked for the rest of the week, but I got a spot for tonight. $35. Sleeping in the truck as it looks like rain. Tut tut.

I was tempted to stay at Lucia Lodge. Cabins overlooking the ocean. Decided that’s a thing couples do. Starting at $250 for a “2 star room.”

Talked with fellow with Mercedes Sprinter van. From Monterey. Said next week is spring break so campgrounds will be filled up. He and his wife are 74 and they were thrifty their whole lives. Had never bought a new vehicle until this Mercedes. You could hear the pride and joy in his voice. They have been isolating for the past year and just got their second vaccination shot. They are out for a few days to celebrate.

What’s striking about this area is how remote and unpopulated it is. No cell service. You see a road to a random house here and there but for the most part is seems uninhabited. I’m in. the Los Padros National Forest now but south of here I assume if the state doesn’t own it then it is private property.

One last thing from the fellow I talked with. I was saying how beautiful it is here. He smiled and told me I was in for a treat when I come back down from the north. He said Monterey is special. So I have that to look forward to!

Great to have my rack in the back of the truck. Thanks, Tim! Crawled in there when it got dark last night and it immediately started to rain. Rained off and on all night. Watched a bit of a Sherlock Homes with Benedict Cumberbatch (what a gifted actor) and fell asleep listening (again) to an audio version of McCullough Adams. Adams doesn’t get enough credit for the role he played in our independence. Perhaps because he didn’t look like a hero. I appreciate how McCullough paints a picture of the whole man and how he struggled with what he (Adams) thought with his faults. I also now appreciate the partnership of Adams and Abigai and how hard life was on her as John was away for such long periods. And that she was no wilting flower.

I try to imagine what it must have been like not to have the right to vote. Or later when you had the right to vote but were discouraged from voting. Sometimes we are a crazy country.

Here's my slideshow. Just over 11 minutes -- sorry, the scenery demanded a lot of photos. Soundtrack by the Checkers.

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