99.1 miles today, 4,681.7 miles total
Perhaps the best known stretch of highway in America, California’s Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles is 400 miles of coastal beauty. Scenic Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, hugs the coastline from northern California to its southern border. It offers magnificent views of the ocean. We spent the day traveling ~ 90 miles along the breathtaking Pacific Coast Highway from Big Sur to Moro Bay. We stopped at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to see McWay Falls & the California condors hiking amid the southernmost region of the famed coastal redwoods. We also stopped along one of the overlooks for lunch and again for a long hike among the hundreds of elephant seals on the beaches. On land Elephant Seals huddle together and sleep much of the time, eating nothing while on the beach. At sea it is a different matter entirely. They dive constantly for 20 to 30 minutes at a time searching for food with only a few minutes on the surface to catch another breath. After a brief visit to Hearst Castle Visitor Center, we went on to Morro Dunes RV Park at Morro Bay, called the “Gibraltar of the Pacific” because of the 576-foot-high volcanic peak looming over town and bay, the westernmost of nine extinct volcanoes named “the sisters.” Morro Rock could have served as inspiration for that 1960s Simon and Garfunkel tune with the “I am a rock, I am an island” refrain. After a Tognazzini’s Dockside Restaurant fresh seafood dinner and walk around the piers, we ended up watching the James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” partially based in Shanghai, before bed.
“The aim of life is some way of living, as flexible and gentle as human nature; so that ambition may stoop to kindness, and philosophy to condor and humor. Neither prosperity nor empire nor heaven can be worth winning at the price of a virulent temper.” –George Santayana (Spanish/American philosopher/poet/humanist, 1863-1952)