Friday, June 29, 2012

Ahhhh....... Morro Bay, Me, and Thee

Morro Bay and The Rock

Morro Bay is near and dear to our hearts; it was here that our lives collided 16 years ago. I was living in a cozy cottage near the golf course, and Darrell, as common for many divorced sailors, was living aboard his sailboat, Sweet Dreams, in the Morro Bay State Park Marina. I was a divorced sailor as well and had just sold my boat. It was pretty much love at first sight when we realized that we shared a common goal of sailing off into the sunset.  Fourteen years and 6 boats later we lived our dream. After 2 years in Mexico we are were ready for a short break from sun, sea, and surf.

Still dreamers at heart, there was another shared fantasy waiting to become a reality. Yep, you guessed it. We wanted to travel across the States in an Airstream. We wanted to start our journey where we first met, Morro Bay.  Both of us had landed in Morro Bay after college, and in the past 37 years little has changed in this small fishing village. Surrounded by the 7 Sister’s Peaks, an estuary, sand dunes, and the Pacific Ocean, the natural beauty of the region offers fishing, sailing, bird watching, kayaking, hiking, golf, camping, and some pretty decent Mexican food. We also have close friends here and a daughter living nearby. No wonder we keep returning.
 Morro Bay State Park Marina, Darrell's home when we first met.

The quaint Bayside Cafe, famous for its Tres Leche Cake, is located next 
to the marina and right across from the State Campground. 
Convenience and decadence under one roof.

The golf course boasts not only an excellent fairways, but a fantastic view of the Rock and the heron rookery. It also borders the campground. For those of us who like to hike, the trail to Black Mountain runs through the course, just make sure to pay attention and duck when necessary.

Sunset from the Morro Bay Yacht Club, home to more than a couple of my boats. 
One of our favorite crew members aboard El Tiburon is commodore.

This is  a repeat visit for Tranquila, we were fortunate to be here in April and blessed with good weather, spring wild flowers, and very few other campers. This week the weather has been unseasonably sunny, and while many of the wild flowers are gone, with school out the campers are here in droves. It’s a pretty happy place, multigenerational families with lots of baby carriages, scads of kids on scooters and bikes, and everyone seems to have a dog or two. Strangely enough it’s quiet and night and we have been sleeping like babies. Even better is our campsite, we are on the edge of the grounds with our “stern” (sailor lingo) facing out towards a large area planted with green ice plant overlooking the estuary and the 7 Sisters Peaks. Our queen bed is in the back of the trailer so this is our morning view while we drink our coffee in bed. No one around to peek in at us except squirrels. It's also perfect spot to throw the frisbee or tennis ball for Spark. An added bonus is the pack of kiddos next door who take over when we want to relax with cocktails.

We really lucked out with our campsite

Summer Innocence, Spark's new friends.

For thousands of years Morro Bay's original campers were hunters and gathers that lived very simply. Things sure have changed. It seems today’s camping families require A LOT more equipment. I am not sure if this era's "essentials" improve the quality of the camping experience or not, but I do know, I certainly enjoy the creature comforts afforded by our Airstream. I loved backpacking and sleeping under the stars, but today, glamping is more appealing.

Camping among stately pines and tall eucalyptus trees, 
space is premium as Fourth of July approaches.

Big and small, simple and complex, all have fun.

Now that's a lot of toys. Happy to be passed all that.

And the "Most Adorable" award goes to the Mini Cooper. His bright orange tent 
was pitched next to the car. The last mini we saw at Refugio State Park, outside of Santa Barbara, carried 2 surfboards on the car racks and was pulling a teeny tiny travel trailer. 

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the color!
Is this pod just TOO Perfect for a Mini Cooper? 
Obviously, suited for a single person or a petite couple without kids!

Our Happy Little Camper, Sparky.
Next stop, boondocking at my brother and sister-in-law's place in Tahoma on Lake Tahoe.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

And We've Off.....

Our Maiden Voyage to Morro Bay State Park
This place is peaceful, has a lot of hiking, and the Morro Bay Yacht Club is nearby.  
So are we returning later this month on our way north.
My Boys Enjoying Big Sur.
Our backyard opened to a big meadow with lots of sun in the afternoons.
It doesn't get much better than Big Sur. We'll be back here too.
Sparky and his new V-friend were very thirsty after playing in the meadow.

Tranquila flying her colors for Cinco de Mayo at Pismo Beach State Park.
Sailing buddy Pat and Darrell drank tequila to commemorate the event.
We were lucky to get a private spot, again, with a backyard that opened to a big meadow with great walks over the dunes and down the beach.
The state park allows vehicles on the beach, but dogs must be leashed.
This rule makes NO sense at all to us.
The natural beauty of this place makes it a "must return" for us, unfortunately we have to drive over to Avila Beach to run Spark. While we are there we will be sure to buy some more fresh fish on the Avila pier to grill.  Y U M.  So maybe it's a win-win after all.