Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hanford to the Coast

Mon - Nov. 15th

James Dean died at 24 years of age when he crashed his Porsche at a fork in the road 900 yards east of this marker, referred to as the Tree of Heaven. He was in several Broadway plays and three movies, East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant.

Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove. The butterflies are here Nov. thru Feb. They blend right in with the leaves when they are closed up. They have been decreasing in number for the last dozen or so years, due to lack of rain and human encroachment. They need milkweed to lay their eggs. Between agricultural and residential growth, lots of milkweed plants have been pulled up.

In 1996 they had 150,000 butterflies here. Last year they had 17,000. If you want to help the butterflies, plant a few milkweed plants in your yard. From here we walked down a path to the beach that was next to the state campground.

It is beautiful here and we hope to spend some time here next year. Plans for this year are already made.

Just down the road, we ate lunch at a restaurant on the pier. Not all views are about the landscape.

These guys were attempting to surf just next to the pier.

Surfs Up!

Bird's eye view.

Arroyo Grande Creek Swinging Bridge (old town Pismo) was built in 1875 with no sides. Sides were added in 1902. Walking over a swinging bridge without sides sounds very scary to me, especially the way John bounces it every time we are on one.

There is a replica of a late 1800's train running around in the ice cream shop, including a replica of an 1876 engine. It was the Pacific Coast Railway in 1882 and some of the cars are still in use in Alaska.

View from Avalon Beach.

Morro Bay where John nearly drowned our daughter when she was about 4 years old. She says the tide came in, he paniced, dropped and ran for his life. He says, she was my first born and the love of my life and I would never do that.

About 25 miles north of here is Hearst Castle at San Simeon, built by William Randolph Hearst. There are four separate tours to see the whole thing. We did two of the tours about 33 years ago. It's definitely a must see, if you are in the area.

There are dozens of vineyards along the way to the coast, but John has put a hold on my wine buying budget. We were listening to 40's music on the way, which tends to date some of the others in the car. Al Jolson came on singing, "You made me love you. I didn't want to do it, I didn't want to do it...". Kathy said, "They're playing Tarra's theme song."
Happy Surfing,

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