Continuing southbound on Hwy-1, I hoped the weather going forward would stay this nice. I had almost forgotten about the fog until about 1 mile down the road when the fog reared it's ugly head again. Two positive things about the fog at least: A) it was a weekday and traffic was light. The fog I think only made the even more so. B) I realized Stephanie's not being able to see over the side of the steep, cliff-type ledges was actually a good thing (she gets a bit hesitant around those). On that trip here from Florida, in the car, we couldn't believe at out exposed some of the roads were. Some literally have NOTHING to keep you from going over and if you did then next thing that would stop you was the ocean a couple hundred feet below you. Guess that's what makes the view so good, right?
The downside to the heavy fog were slick roads. Add to that the fact that some sections of this road have been recently paved and you get a nice, slick gravel-ly mess (in only some sections at least). And even though there was little traffic that doesn't mean you're not going to get some moron, like the guy we came up on driving a white mercedes, that will make your life miserable through a nice twisty section. we got around him eventually and all was good. Excuse the lack of too many pictures through all this, but the view was somewhat limited.
The temperature was still hovering right around 50 degrees and although I on had the snazzy heated vest Stephanie got me for christmas , I was still a bit on the cold side. Time for a short break. The next stop was at the Whale Watchers cafe. To you it might sounds like a weight loss program for our mammal friends in the sea, but to me it sounded like a great idea at the time. It's actually one of the few stops along the way…..
We pulled up to the gas pumps but decided against gas since we really only had about 30 miles left to Cambria AND when we saw the gas prices. Yeah it's not a big deal when you're only getting a few gallons, but that doesnt mean you still don't feel somewhat stupid for paying it if you don't have too (say the people on the expensive italian motorcycles).
As we were gathering our things a couple pulled up to the pump in a ford escape SUV. They looked over obviously wanting to ask a question. I walked over and they asked which gas they should use. I was a bit confused, but then saw their car was a rental and was one of these e85 flex fuel cars. They were middle-eastern so it makes sense that they only spoke regular octane. I asked them if they were headed south. They were, so I encouraged them that if they didn't need gas right now, to keep going until Cambria where they could get gas without having to bend over a oil barrel to get it. They jumped in the car and took off. I looked at Stephanie and said, "they actually might not make it if he plans to drive like that the whole way there".
We went inside and got our warm beverages. Inside only a few of the tables occupied and the counter that (normally) overlooks the ocean had a family of four sitting at it. I swear they were either extremely tired of talking to each other or MUTE. The people didn't say a word the entire time we were there. Our waitress was latin, but either didn't want to be there or wasn't thrilled that we were only there for coffee and tea. No matter, life is still good.
Let me pause for a second to say again that, long or short, I absolutely live for these trips. The planning, the anticipation of riding and getting to your next destination. Even the f%#$^*g packing and unpacking I love. It's just awesome. It's something that I never take for granted. I know that we are lucky to do these things.
Anyway, back to our warm seat next alongside HWY-1 or better yet, our departure from said establishment:
As I just mentioned, we didn't have much left in terms of miles to get there. The weather continued the same, but hey, we're riding/traveling and no matter what it's still better than working!!
Along the way things started to clear up a bit. It was still overcast but the fog was pretty much gone as we got closer to Cambria. Cambria is just a few miles down the road from Hearst Castle. We didn't stop there the last time we rolled through here in the car and it didn't look like we would have much time to stop this trip either. Maybe a good excuse to come back?? We'll see.
We rolled into Cambria right around 4:30. We were staying at the Blue Dolphin Inn. It's one of several Inns in Cambria that are owned by the same company. I had originally wanted to stay at one of the cottages at Moonstone Cottages, but they were all booked. This apparently was the next best thing. And, it was. It's kind of a boutique hotel with big hotel amenities in a small Inn. It was perfect. We were greeted by the lady at the front desk and she showed us to the room. The room had a great view that paralleled one of the oceanfront rooms (also all booked). I'm definitely noting the room number (210) for a future stay:
A walk outside just before dark:
Next up, dinner. We wanted something within walking distance and asked the lady at the front desk for a recommendation. She recommended a place that was 6 doors down called the Sea Chest. She also recommended we walk over to get our name on the list since it gets pretty busy, so while stephanie got ready I walked over. I guess the fog kept more people away than I thought because there was only about a 5 minute wait. I walked back, got Stephanie and walked over with her. I forgot, as is usually the case, to take pictures of the food. But it was good. We got a few oyster dishes to start, some salad and shared a swordfish entree. The fish was a bit on the bland side, but everything else did the job. Dessert was a chocolate cake (had to). At dinner we reflected on this trip and on some of the past trips, mainly the ones we did when we lived back east. It's incredible;e some of the details that stand out over time. Overall great experiences that we'll carry with us always.
It's funny, all night I kept hearing this dinging sound. I figured it was the register or something, but when the waitress brought the bill I then saw what it actually was. I put down my credit card and the waitress says they only accept cash. My initial thought, other than "Steph, RUN!!", was "crap, I'm gonna have to leave and go get money". Before the words could even come out of my mouth the waitress says "there's an ATM machine right there if you need it". Of COURSE there is!!! That's the dinging sound I was hearing all night. What a racket!! Kind of smart though. Instead of paying the 2%-3% to the credit card companies they're making $1.50 on every credit card transaction. Capitalism at it's best. I succumbed to the ATM gods, paid the bill and we walked back along the boardwalk to the hotel. It was a good day. Now time for some sleep. Tomorrow we head back north towards home, stopping for the night in Monterey.....
(Sea Chest Restaurant after dinner)