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    The home of the WXToad
  •  The Great Around-the-USA Adventure

    California: LA to the Big Sur

    11 Apr 08: We finished up our week of work on our Lazy Daze - 2 days at the factory and then a day with Larry W, who kindly installed LED taillights for me. Wow - I love 'em! They are so much brighter than the original lights and respond immediately to the brake pedal. We thanked Larry and Renee for their gracious hospitality and set off on the final leg of our trip to the Pacific Ocean. Then began our slow meander northward along the coast.

    For pictures and comments of all the campgrounds we visited, click on "Campground Reviews" in Top Menu or on the links in the journal.

     Our first lunch beside the Pacific ! ca0066 
     sbbg17  14 Apr 08: We stopped to visit the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, which features California native plants. You can see more of our visit here.
     Sunset at El Capitan State Beach. ca0080 
     purisima05 15 Apr 08: Passing through Lompoc, we paid a visit to La Purisima Mission. For more pictures, click here
    We spent two nights at Morro Bay State Park. The main geologic feature here is Morro Rock.   morro10
     ca0088  Driving up the coast highway, we marveled at the change in the ground cover. Coming across southern California's desert country, there was little green to be seen. Here along the coast, the hillsides are covered in greens of all shades.
     17 Apr 08: Hearst Castle was the feature attraction for the day. We spent the afternoon taking the Experience Tour and viewing the Imax movie about the building of the Castle. I took this picture through one of those pay telescopes.   hearst05
    ca0103   18 Apr 08: We drove about a mile south of our campsite at San Simeon State Park, where we walked over a mile of this boardwalk along the shore.
     I have no idea what this is, but found it very interesting. The flower was nearly a foot high. We found it along the boardwalk. ca0106 
    ca0109  19 Apr 08: After a chilly morning, the sun finally broke through the marine layer, and we got out for a 4-mile walk. Along the way we found this amazingly twisted tree. 
     20 Apr 08: Moving on up the coast a ways, we found a beach that serves as a rookery for hundreds and hundreds of elephant seals. Most of the adults are off on their annual foraging trek into the North Pacific, so these are mostly young ones. ca0114 
    ca0113   That's not to say there were no adults present. Here are two males confronting each other over the harem. The guy on the left seemed to get the better of the encounter.
     Just north of the seal rookery is the Point Piedras Blancas lighthouse, built in 1875.  ca0118
     kirkcrk36 An unexpected find was the Forest Service's Kirk Creek Campground. As we drove by, it struck our fancy, so we turned around and ended up spending two nights here. This ranks as one of the best spots we've camped so far on this Great Adventure and it's now on our list of Top Ten campgrounds.
     21 Apr 08: Across the road from Kirk Creek CG is the Vincente Trail, which takes hikers out into the back-country. We settled for a hike about two miles up the hillside. We marveled at the tremendous variety of wild flowers we found along the trail.  ca0146
     ca0143  As we climbed the hillside, we had a great view of the coastline to the north.
     This is where we decided to turn back. You can faintly make out the trail zig-zagging its way up the hillside. Down along the ocean at the right is Kirk Creek Campground.  ca0144

    The colors of the water are truly marvelous.

    Come along with us as we head for San Francisco and a trip up Telegraph Hill in our RV before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.