We made it to the beach - The Pacific Ocean. And in less than a minute I had my feet in the water. But not without heeding a quick warning from Randy: "Watch out for the poison oak." Meaning on the trail down, not on the beach itself.
Poison Oak does grow everywhere along this coast. I made the fatal mistake of walking alone through some grasses over a narrow trail when we were here eleven years ago and we both suffered the consequences for five full weeks. So I'm determined not to let it happen again. We've studied pictures of the plant (more confusing because it comes in various different forms) and have been choosing our hikes carefully. Wide, well-used trails and, of course, walking the beaches themselves are the safest options.
The last couple of weeks have been packed full. They started with a very brave act: Randy drove through Los Angeles traffic to visit old friends there. From there, we started our drive north, following the famed route 1, The Coast Highway.
We've taken a few detours to return inland, to find more peaceful (and more affordable) camping up above the clouds that seem to hang along the coast. From the locals we learned this is usual this time of year. They call it "June Gloom." Often just a few miles inland and a thousand feet in altitude will return you to sunshine. We timed our inland trips for the weekend when campgrounds on the coast are busy and finding a campsite there is more difficult.
Coastal highlights included throwing our kayak in at Morro Bay where we paddled around the sea otters and harbor seals, and crossed the bay to a secluded beach only accessible by water. We were pretty excited to give our infltatable kayak its first-ever taste of salty water.
I feel so blessed - to be traveling and writing about it. After all, how many people get to set up their "office" outside on a picnic table? This ingenious laptop-shade (towel over a lawn chair) was Randy's idea - making it possible for me to see my computer screen outdoors.
Looking forward to the next leg of our journey - the amazing Big Sur coastline.
Days On The Road At Time Of Writing: 115
Camping Costs To Date: $125.00