June 18 – 20
The next morning after spending some time in camp we set out for our days activities. First up was the short drive into Morro Bay where we introduced Kim and Marty to the Sun-N-Buns Bakery where we enjoyed a romp through their pastry selection.
From there it was out to Montana de Oro State Park, where we’d hiked last spring with Jan and Evan; this time in parking in the lot of the Bluff Trail that marked our turnaround point the time before. Still somewhat cool that day, being out in the sunshine and moving around made for pleasant conditions.
We looped out to the headlands, stopping now and then to look closely at the swaths of blooming wildflowers, golden poppies dominant against the other colors.
Reaching the oceanside, we descended into the cove as we did last year, walking out into the tide pools in search of those small creatures that inhabit this environment, or possibly finding long buried treasure.
We began to work our way back to the car, walking up to the paved road that led to our parking lot and after arriving, drove back towards Morro Bay, stopping first at the Ralph’s again to pick up more supplies for the evening, meat and cheese to munch on (we planned to eat lunch out) and not surprisingly, more gin as we’d nearly exhausted our inventory of that magic elixir.
Post shopping, we made our way to Morro Rock, parking at its base and checking out the brave (crazy?) souls playing in the breaking surf and admiring some talented surfers further out, taking on some of the bigger waves for some pretty impressive rides.
Morro Rock is a volcanic plug; at 581-feet high it is one of 13 volcanic plugs (remnant necks of extinct volcanoes), lava domes, and sheet like intrusions between Morro Bay on the north and Islay Hill on the south, all in San Luis Obispo County.
A causeway connects it with the shore, making it a tied island. The rock is protected as the Morro Rock State Preserve
With signs repeatedly warning us not to climb on the rock, we worked our way around its base, going as far as we could to the south side before turning around and walking back, lingering for quite some time to watch a couple of otters dipping below the surface to snag some food, then laying on their backs while they prepared and ate it.
By now we’d worked up a powerful thirst and as had been discussed we drove the short distance into Morro Bay to drop in at the Libertine Pub, which seemed to promote a wide selection of beers, including those from their own brewery. There are two sections to the place, a bar up front near the street and a dining room in the back facing the bay. We were able to snag a table for four in back with a nice view and settled in for what would be an enjoyable experience.
Their own beers tend to lean to the sour side, a style of beer not appealing to some of us (no knock on those who do like it, just wish I did) so we ended up ordering a few of the guest drafts, for Joanna a Deschutes Nitro Obsidian Stout and for me, a King Harbor Tiki Hut IPA. The four of us selected two clam chowders in bread bowls, one order of steamers and frites (black mussels sautéed in house Belgian broth and topped with fries) and an intriguing sounding Cowboy Tots.
This turned out to be a massive amount of food; the tots, essentially nachos with tater tots, came out on a dish the size of a large hub cap, generously constructed of the aforementioned tots and sirloin ranch style beans, cheese, bacon, and sour cream. Somehow, we all managed to do justice to the food, finishing off most if not all of it, save a last few of the tots.
From there it was back to camp and another evening of fire watching and some token nibbling on the food we’d purchased at the Ralph’s earlier, being still full of lunch. The next morning, we drove into San Luis Obispo for breakfast at Louisa’s Place, which has been covered before in this blog. I’ve been coming here for as long as I can remember, likely the early 1980’s when Joanna and I came to visit Janis when she lived there.
As usual I ordered one of the ginormous omelets, a Maggie’s Creation (Jack Cheese, bacon, mushrooms, spinach, topped with avocado) while Joanna succumbed to some decadent pancake concoction of the day. We finished up eating and bade Kim and Marty farewell for just a day as we’d meet them the next one in Yosemite.
Before leaving town, we walked across the street to the Apple Store so that I could replace my phone case, then located the car and made the drive back to Oakland. Our return to camping after a month had gone well and we looked forward to more of the same in the coming month or more as we began our way north through Oregon and Washington and the San Juan Islands. But for now, we had Yosemite on the horizon and how much better can it get than that?
Sun-N-Buns Bakery: https://www.yelp.ca/biz/sun-n-buns-bakery-and-espresso-bar-morro-bay
Montana de Oro State Park: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=592
California Golden Poppy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eschscholzia_californica
Morro Rock: https://www.morro-bay.ca.us/383/Morro-Rock-Beach
Libertine Pub: http://libertinebrewing.com/morro-bay/
Louisa’s Place: http://www.louisasplace.com/