Sunday, May 19, 2013

Around Morro Bay

It has turned out to be a big week for us in many ways... on Wednesday we headed north up to San Simeon to see the pier and
check it out for a plein air trip.  It was still a bit overcast and cool so we decided to continue north up the Big Sur coast and we drove for a few miles and saw a full parking lot of cars and folks walking up and down a boardwalk next to the beach.  Well we had to pull in and see what they were all looking at... it was the annual migration and molting of over a thousand elephant seals.  
And these were only the females and juveniles, the mature males and newborns were still out at sea up near Alaska.  They would arrive in the summer long after this group was back out to sea.  Each year they molt the outer layer of skin and fur and the way to tell how far along they are in the molting is to look at their color.  The brown seals have not started yet and the silver seals are almost done.  Each seal arrives and leaves on their own. 
They do not travel in groups.  When they arrive they weigh hundreds of pounds and they fast while molting, so they are much slimmer when they leave.
The boardwalk for the public was probably about one quarter mile long.  The photo just shows one section of the beach where they were all laying around, throwing sand over themselves with their flippers and trying to stay cool in the sunlight. 
On Thursday we drove up to the Big Town of Harmony with a population of 18.  It's just a turnoff with a few buildings but there is a pottery studio and gallery, a glass studio and gallery, and a tiny little café run by an Italian Chef.  After cruising the galleries, we sat out on the patio and had cappuchino. 
Later that evening we headed into San Luis Obispo to have dinner.  We decided to eat at the famous Madonna Inn, spare no expense, as it was Allan's 70th birthday.  Normally we don't celebrate birthday's much, but 70 seemed like a good number to celebrate.  I can't say that the food was as good as reviewed, but the décor was certainly over the top and we got to listen to the dance band while eating.  Well, I should say that the carrot cake was excellent.  On Friday we went back to SLO to go to a used book store where we both found quite a few books, including the essays of Robert Henri. 
While strolling around the town we went past an unusual site... bubblegum alley.  Both sides of the alley on the brick walls from the sidewalk up to as far as anyone could reach was... well, bubblegum.  Of course there were people standing around chewing like mad, in order to add to the collection.  Then on our last day here in Morro... we drove back up to Harmony to spend our morning painting another plein air, the success of which is dubious, so photos of the effort will not be inflicted upon the blog reader.  But the day was warm and sunny and we ended back at the Harmony Café for a lovely salad with chicken, finishing with another cappuchino accompanied by a lemon raspberry cake.  No time to take photos, it was all consumed in a flash.
After a brief rest in the rig, we headed down the coast with the dogs to Pismo Beach where we ran into a Vintage Trailer Rally.

  Here are some photos of the cutest trailers, most of them pulled by ordinary cars or even old vintage cars. 
That's all for now.... the next post will be from San Juan Bautista.

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