San Rafael Valley, AZ ~~ Photo by Bill Haas

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


...on California's Central Coast is its best kept secret. Join my son, Cameron, and I as we aim for home from Death Valley on January 4, 2010 via Highway 46 in Paso Robles...
...and pause at the summit to breathe deeply and take in the surrounding hills, starting to green up after recent rains.
Cameron wondered if Ireland looks like this.
It's not often one has a clear view of Morro Bay and its namesake, Morro Rock, but Winters are different on the coast...
...sometimes with nary a white cap to mar the Pacific's placid surface. Highway 46 ends near Cambria; here we turn right and head north on the Great Highway One.
However, no matter what the season or what the weather, one WILL see plenty of Pampas Grass, an invasive, non-native, noxious "weed" and bane of the California Coast.
This is one of five Historical Bridges built in the early 1930's that span canyons and creeks along Highway One. These bridges and the highway itself were part of the public works projects during the Great Depression and were designed to hug the coastline to ensure travelers would connect with the natural bounty along the way -- the Pacific Ocean on one side, Los Padres National Forest on the other.
Traveling the Great One, as I call it, is a spiritual experience for me. It is dramatic and stunning and holds decades of delicious memories: Mountains and ocean, water falls, wildflowers, road cuts, beaches, birds and sea animals, rivers, canyons, farms, funky little burgs, fancy spas and five-star hotels, campgrounds, lighthouses, cliff-hanging restaurants, and galleries with drop-dead views. There is just no other place like this Coastal sweet spot.
My son, the jester!
When I win the lottery and if it's still here, this musical table will be my first purchase!
My ride. Also my home!
Early blooms included these Poppies,
Creeping Wood-Sorrel,
and Wild Radish.
Outside of Moss Landing, Brussel Sprouts have been harvested, and fertile fields are being prepared for Broccoli and Cauliflower.
Artichokes are coming in...
...look for them in markets by February, long before their peak in April.
We arrive in Santa Cruz just in time for sunset and some breathtaking views of the Monterey Peninsula far, far across the bay.
For some reason, gulls don't seem quite as obnoxious at sunset!!!
I think I'll just have to drive The Great One again soon. On a weekday in January, of course!


And Happy New Year
from California --
land of fruits and nuts!
And colorful people!