Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The PCH - Chapter 5

Saturday July 10, 2004
Arroyo Grande, CA to Monterey, CA

Having scratched our breakfast itch, we were on the road up the coast through the heart of the Pismo Beach area. Highway 1, once again, swings inland just beyond Pismo as it turns toward San Luis Obispo. At San Luis Obispo, a near 90 degree bend to the west sends you shooting off toward the coast and toward Morro Bay.


As we rolled into Morro Bay, the landscape was dominated by a 576 foot rock called El Morro (which is Spanish for the Morro). I did not take the corresponding picture - this was 30 miles into our day and so we did not stop for this wonderful photo opportunity. My mental image of this place is so vivid that it almost wasn't necessary. Unfortunately, I had some trouble scanning my mental image - so I ripped this picture off the internet. You do not have to take my word for it, this little town is adorable and the landscape is stunning. I am certain land is a million dollars a square foot here, otherwise it would be a great place to retire.

This brings up a point that I should make about our trip. We had a destination. That may have been our biggest mistake (Bloodgood, do not take this personally). Had we not had a destination and plans to stay a couple of days with Bloodgood, we certainly would have stopped in this little town and had a beer at a local watering hole. I can't say that this is a regret because we had a wonderful trip. So, instead of regret, let's just call it a "future opportunity." I retain a future opporutnity to return to Morro Bay and watch the sun set over El Morro (which is Spanish for the Morro) while having a beer and some clam chowder. It was the "most beautiful place I have ever seen 2." (Herinafter, "most beautiful place I have ever seen" will be defined as "MBPIHES" and then denoted with an identifying number. The identifying number is merely to keep score as to how many times I said this during this trip and should not be used for wagering or other lottery-related purposes).

Beyond Morro Bay was the San Simeon area. San Simeon is where William Randolph Hearst's famous Hearst Castle is located. We stopped. We went inside. We found out that the tour lasted more than two hours. We left.

I am certain the Castle is very cool, but I would rather have spent my two hours having a beer at a pub in Morro Bay looking over El Morro (which is Spanish for the Morro). Hearst Castle remains a future opportunity.

Just past San Simeon is the area that is commonly referred to as Big Sur. While the map shows a town called Big Sur, I recall that it was a gas pump with outrageously expensive gas prices. But don't let that comment confuse my opinion of Big Sur because Big Sur is the MBPIHES3!!!.


Big Sur is really a region, not a specific, indentifiable spot along the road. It lacks clear boundaries, but it is generally a 90 mile stretch south of Carmel down to roughly Lucia, California. It is a windy, rocky, mountainous area. Highway 1 in this area is a roller coaster of dips and climbs. At one point the Highway is barely above sea level; in the next instant, it climbs to over 1200 feet in elevation. The entire stretch qualifies for the MBPIHES3 designation I have bestowed upon it.

The ride was slow, technical and exhausting. This piece of highway is very popular and the line of vehicles down this road were filled with people doing the same thing we were doing - and it did not include watching the road.

We stopped periodically and enjoyed the scenery. But traveling 90 miles at slow speed puts a dent in the day. We only have a limited number of daylight hours (and I would never want to ride at night and miss any of this incredible beauty). Accordingly, we keep our pauses brief and keep moving along while relishing the fact that we are alive and we are here.

Before long, we have passed through the Big Sur region and we are moving into the Carmel/Monterey area. As I write this, I want to go back. I want to go back right this minute. Monterey is a definitely a tourist area. I am a tourist. I think I have firmly established this fact. We hit the primary tourist area and visited the Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf area. Shops, tourists, restaurants...and we were hungry. How fortuitous that we managed to find a restaurant that served - SEAFOOD.


I am salivating while thinking about the Crab/Shrimp/Mushroom mixture poured over sourdough bread and then covered with Monterey Jack cheese.

Monterey remains full of future opportunities; after a hearty lunch we mounted up and hit the road.

San Francisco was so close we could taste it - either that or it was the lingering crab/shrimp/mushroom mixture. Whatever it was, it was good!

41 Comments:

Blogger garrett provided this enlightening comment...

I love it when you talk about scratching your itch.

Oh, sorry. I was channeling PDD there for a second.

P.S. I think I've got the first comment on this post. Sorry, Bloodgood.

8:29 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

Garrett:
How did it feel?

Pinky:
I have just logged on and I have to take a shower. I am beyond exhausted but after my shower I will read this because I love it when you talk about scratching your itch.

I don't know if you read Genet's post about Yanni a few days back. If you haven't, please read it and then read todays post. I think he may be psychic.

I am a psychic cat.
Meow. I need to be scratched too.

9:18 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger Bloodgood provided this enlightening comment...

Love the story!!! You could tell me to eat shit and I would never take it personally!
Its funny you praise Monterey so much, my friend that has the same scooter as me, that I go riding with just moved to PDX from Monterey. He said it was beautiful, but boring and filled people that have to much money for their own good. He use to work in fine dining, and he did say they have wonderful resturants.
I would still like to go there.

p.s. I know I already mentioned it but a special care package is coming to your mailbox. Please let me know when you get it!

P.P.S. Garret good job on securing #1 spot, after all it is the first thing everybody sees when they click on this page.

10:57 PM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger The Velvet Fog provided this enlightening comment...

Did you have a feral kid, like in the Road Warrior on the back of your bike during this ride? That would be cool.

6:45 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

Fog, I have been looking for a feral kid for a couple of years now. If you know where I could get one, please let me know. Having a feral kid does set you apart from the common biker masses.

I have a good psychic cat story that I will share some time.

I did read Genet's post a couple of days ago and it was the first thing I thought of after I heard Yanni used his pimp hand.

7:16 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

I wish to be included with your "future opportunities". We can salivate on each other.

You have inspired me to get a new job that affords me vacation time. This idea does not exist where I am currently working. Once I get this job that affords me vacation time, the first thing I am doing is going there.

I want to go there now!

Bloodgood:
What your cousin is trying to say is that it's all your fault! :) Pinky is a master at diplomacy.

7:17 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger DorianGray1854 provided this enlightening comment...

Hi Flaming,
I like the story, you should expand it into novel form.

9:52 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

Yes. I agree. It definitely holds my attention and I always look forward to the next chapter. I like your writing Pinky. I think you're really funny. But that goes without saying.

You are also very dreamy. But that also goes without saying.

I also think that Garrett should write a book. I would definitely read anything Garrett has to say.

10:03 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

OMG! I want to bash everyone in this office right now. Seriously. Watch PDD get violent! When I am pushed too far I loose my temper. I am also very stubborn but when I know I am wrong I will be the first to admit it. I am seriously going to bash everyone in this office right now.

10:25 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

Great, now we are all going to be called to testify in PDDs trial after she goes postal at work.

I will get subpoenaed to Canada (likely in January) and PDD will be behind bars thus preventing me from having my way with her (as the other 50% of the voting population desired).

Don't do it!!

10:38 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

Already done! I am looking for another job (have been for quite some time). I am hoping I can snag one in the next couple of weeks.

They told me I am going to be put with all the lesbians. I said, "If they don't do a proper job they should expect to be bashed brutally. Sorry, that's just how I roll." Perhaps I can convince them to have you join for a night. It could be like a really cool glamorous slumber party. Bring your popcorn boxers!

Also, I think you should link Denny. I like that dude.

11:35 AM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

I made a couple of language/writing edits to clean this up a bit. Hopefully it reads a little more smoothly now. I noticed that I had used the word "area" with far too much repetition. I apologize for the irritation that may have caused.

12:18 PM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

You couldn't irritate me if your life depended on it. You don't realize what you are capable of doing to me. Irritating is definitely not one of them.

1:07 PM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

Wow! I am really out there with my feelings aren't I??

Okay, i'll settle down now.

1:08 PM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger jungle jane provided this enlightening comment...

Big Sur looks a bit like something floaty i swam past in my swimming pool. i am sure it was just a bit of chunky chocolate....

2:01 PM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

No, Jane. Big Sur is not a euphemism for pinching a loaf or dropping the Browns off at the pool.

Clean up your act or I shall be forced to deal with you.

2:04 PM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

Oh my god I am laughing good! I haven't heard pinching a loaf in a while.

2:28 PM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger Bloodgood provided this enlightening comment...

Big Sur Like the Waterbed??

10:41 PM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger jungle jane provided this enlightening comment...

i can't clean up my act if you keep posting pictures of poo!

11:25 PM, March 08, 2006  
Blogger MsAmber provided this enlightening comment...

William Randolph Hearst, hmmm.
In Elkins West Virginia, there are two castles on top of college hill. The mountain is now Davis & Elkins College.
The one castle is named Hallie Hearst. The property contains an Ice house, slave quarters, stables, guard shack at the bottom of the mountain, and a stone wall all the way around.
The county is Randolph county, and I remember being told that William Randolph Hearst lived there and Hallie Hearst was named after his (daughter?).
So, what was the guy doing in California?

MsAmber

7:38 AM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

MsAmber - go rent the movie, Citizen Kane. It is generally the story of Hearst although they never come out and say it in the movie.

He made millions in the newspaper industry and then built this lavish mansion on the California coast and filled it with treasures that he picked up from around the world. Most of these pieces should be in a museum somewhere - ancient greek urns, etc. He decorated his entire estate with these items. It is really a celebration of greed and excess.

This would be a very good time to discuss the significance of Citizen Kane. Has anyone seen the film and would you like to offer your opinion of the significance of said film. I took from it that despite the excess and the greed and the power, in the end (as it is with us all) none of this is as important as our memories and the more simple things in our lives.

Anyway, interesting Castle and great movie. Watch it.

8:27 AM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Bloodgood provided this enlightening comment...

I fell asleep before I found out what Rosebud meant the first time I watched it.

8:49 AM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger Bloodgood provided this enlightening comment...

I like the movie and own it though.
Touch of Evil was awesome!

8:52 AM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger kellywalters provided this enlightening comment...

* sigh *

I am sooo mad at you for not taking me with you.

ass

11:20 AM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

Roxi - I would love to take a "sensitive" girl like you on a ride up the coast.

Just let me know when you want to leave.

11:42 AM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

Umm... you still owe me a ride, pinky. Thanks. My feelings are hurt now.

12:01 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

PDD - I don't recall you asking for a ride (on the motorcycle, anyway). Roxi even said she would ride bitch. Since I won't let anyone else ride my bike, that is really her only other option (other than to not get a ride at all).

Also, I heard that you have been hanging around with Grant Bailie and Shad something-or-other. I assumed I had been ditched and that my bunnies were safe.

12:43 PM, March 09, 2006  
Anonymous kagemusha provided this enlightening comment...

I know Citizen Kane is supposed to be a masterwork of the American cinema, but it didn't resonate with me. Don't get me wrong. I thought it was worth the first watch (and maybe a second in Bloodgood's case) but after learning what Rosebud was the movie had no lure for me for repeated viewings.

As for great films from that era, I loved "You Can't Take it With You" and "Strangers on a Train." Both of those are classics.

1:25 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

It would have been better if Brad Pitt had been in it.

1:35 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

Pinky:
I think Grant Bailie and Shad, that's right, Shad are great! but no one could replace you. Seriously.

Shad has a really good piece called "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Yawn". He's got a blog on MySpace, but I can never leave him any comments because I am not a MySpace member. MySpace drives me crazy. Anyway I love the Joseph title. It's something genet would write. I just love it!

I would never ditch you. No one could ever compare to you. Your bunnies are far from safe.

2:35 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

Please read Genet's post. I can't stop fucking laughing.

2:38 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

Hear that Bailie and Shad? This here is MY stalker. Go get yer own.

I wonder if Brad Pitt has this problem?

3:05 PM, March 09, 2006  
Anonymous kagemusha provided this enlightening comment...

That's not the Brad Pitt movie I was thinking of.

I was thinking of . . .

6:20 PM, March 09, 2006  
Anonymous kagemusha provided this enlightening comment...

Flamingo, you are so cool you even have your own stalker. I am the antithesis of cool so I could never have my own stalker.

I am usually just ignored. Maybe I can aspire to having a person who pities me from afar...or even someone who is openly hostile. But my very own stalker--never gonna happen.

6:23 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 provided this enlightening comment...

Kagemusha, I would be more than happy to be openly hostile toward you if that would make you happy.

7:28 PM, March 09, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

TAG! You're it. For further info go to my site.

I kiss your sweet cheeks from a distance. Seriously.

9:25 PM, March 09, 2006  
Anonymous kagemusha provided this enlightening comment...

Flamingo, as it is a step up from oblivion, open hostility would be kewl.

(Note the use of the very hip alternative spelling of "cool". I feel that if I make the extra effort to point out how with it I am, it only serves to underscore my hipness--as opposed to being uber nerdy).

7:11 AM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

I totally forget, but is Kagemusha TT?

8:13 AM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

Oh shit! I just noticed Citizen Kane. I can't believe I haven't seen it yet. I know, I am seriously a dufus! I understand that Orson Wells pioneered non-linear editing with this film.

I know it's supposed to be brilliant. Obviously I am not that brilliant otherwise I would have seen it by now.

I will have to see that very soon so that I can call myself brilliant all over blogosphere without feeling inauthentic.

9:39 AM, March 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous provided this enlightening comment...

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