Waking up at the Glen Oaks motel was pretty fabulous. The little gas fireplace and heated bathroom floors were still awesome. We walked down the road to a little general store and bought some muffins to eat for breakfast on our patio. They had gas pumps outside the store as well at 3.10/gallon! Thats high even for this area where the normal is about 2.30. We had planned to drive just a little ways down the road to a state forest and see some of the giant redwoods. When we got there, however, we were told that the trails were closed because the park was “under construction”. Uh, whatever. So we didn’t get to see any big trees.
We started out on today’s drive down the coast. This was what we had been expecting. Hairpin turns right on the edge of a steep drop to the ocean, and Pacific as far as we could see. About every quarter mile there were dirt turnoffs on the side of the road, and we stopped at probably half of them to take in the view and snap pictures. On several occasions we were very lucky and ran into some awesome nature. One of them was a California Condor sitting on the edge of a cliff. He was massive and probably could have caused some damage with his talons, but he just sat there and let us take pictures. We were also able to hear the echos of some seals barking hundreds of feet below and barely visible on the rocks. We also some whales way off the coast. At one turnoff, we noticed these furry little brown guys running all over the place. They resembled the squirrels back home, but were definitely a different variety. They were super friendly. So friendly that I was able to sit on the ground and they crawled up on my legs and took granola out of my fingers gently. Best moment of my life.
Our first major stop of the day was Hearst Castle. Half the fun was probably the bus ride up to it, but the tour was cool, too. I’m glad we did it, but really its so big our tour hardly covered a part of it. They have 5 separate tours to deal with the whole premises. After the tour we spent some time photographing the elephant seals who are beached absolutely everywhere right now. One of them was by himself up on a beach we could actually get to so that was kind of cool.
We were kind of photo-opped out after all the seals and coastal driving. After San Simeon a lot of the road went inland so we just drove until we hit San Luis Obispo. The guy who checked us in to the Peach Tree Inn was a college student himself and gave us some tips for the town. He recommended the Firestone Grill for some food and said it was kind of a college hangout. We had no idea this was such a college town, but after walking the downtown area it clearly is. We headed to Firestone for dinner and Eric had the tri-tip sandwich that everyone says you have to get if you eat there. It was chock full of college kids and tvs playing sports games. Felt pretty comfortable to us. I’m glad we went there and checked out their downtown.
The rest of the evening will probably just be watching TV and relaxing because we can. And because its a Sunday night and all the college kids have class tomorrow so not much is going on.