Cayucos, Spooner’s Cove, Morro Bay

I have a lot of videos piling up. Seems I’ll be stretching this trip out for blog purposes as well. That’s a deliberate content decision. Besides, who has time to edit videos when you’re out doing all of the fun stuff? And why am I still dealing with jet lag three days into your trip? I’ve never been good at this. I can move one time zone and feel the effects. I think I can fly, stay in the same time zone and drag for a day or so. But to move three time zones, have a clock change, in a leap year, and now be breathing in the briny Pacific air? I’m, right now, awake every morning at 5:30 and ready for bed when the sun gets low.

Definitely it is the leap year thing.

Today, The Yankee officially became a gas station taco convert. We pulled up, ordered our lunch and enjoyed lunch as it should be, outside, in the shade, at a picnic table. She’d also found Brown Butter Cookies The site says they are sibling-owned. Take that mom and dad! No family-owned stuff about this business. Traci and Christa had a deli, but the cookies were the hit, and so the pair followed their customers, and here we are.

No, really, here we are.

The review sites say they’re a bit pricey, and, for cookies, yeah. But the folks working there are charming. The cookies are good. They did not have peanut butter cookies, because that’s a seasonal thing, apparently. I wondered aloud if they had a difficult time getting peanuts or Jif or some other ingredient, but the woman who was patiently waiting on me to make my decision said they only do the peanut butter cookies in the summer because, during the school year, they make thousands of biscuits for 15 local schools. They are whole grain, applesauce, no dairy and no nuts. The elementary kids, she said, really love them. So they don’t make peanut butter cookies at the same time of year for allergen purposes. She sold me there, even if she wouldn’t sell me a biscuit. Schools only.

She also laughingly told us about watching people come in with their friends or loved ones and devolve into fights will trying to figure out their complete order. Cookies are a serious business out here.

Yes, a version of this photo will become a banner on the blog some day soon. (Related, I’m ready to put the outdoor tires back on my bicycle. The warm weather we’re enjoying this week has me sold that spring is here. It’ll be cold and windy next week, no doubt.)

Predictably, we hit the beach. This is at a place called Spooners Cove, and it was our second beach of the day. It is a sand and stone beach. You can walk from one end of the cove to another in five or six minutes. Lots of wave action, no swimming. I did find some sea glass, and there are plenty of tide pools. She was, then, a kid again.

There’s a great big rock jutting up out of the water. Of course, we climbed it. Here’s a view from the top.

Click to embiggen.

We’re slipping into this delightful habit on our trips of going to a place and doing not much more than the impossible task of taking it all in. Sure, we could have snapped a photo and kept moving. We could have stayed on the beach. But we lingered on the top of that treacherous rock and watched the waves surge and the water explode. We felt the mist and the raindrops and peered out to the horizon, to the bluffs on either side, and into the little puddles gathered on top of the thing. And, also, looked down, to ponder the power of the tides and the color of hydrodynamic creation.

(The rocks on this coastline are always changing. We are in a sea of change by the sea.)

We listened to the elephant seals and had dinner at a nice family-owned seafood restaurant in Morro Bay. These, it should be noted, were two separate activities. The back of the restaurant’s menu had the classic black and white family photo. The parents had immigrated to the U.S. from Europe. The kid on the end, the youngest, the shortest one in the long row, ran the restaurant.

It was a swift moving place. I started timing the removal of dishes. When you’d finished with a plate, it was taken from the table within 12 seconds. I am left to conclude there is a tableware shortage on the west coast.

We also took in the grandeur of Morro Rock.

Made primarily of dacite, the 581-foot height of the thing dominates the shoreline. It is one of 13 volcanic plugs, what’s left of an extinct volcano, in the region.

Two indigenous groups, the Salinan and the Chumash, each consider it to be a sacred site. Nearby, a settlement dating back at least 4,000 years has been discovered. The Spanish, Wikipedia tells me, probably were the first Europeans to see it, in 1542. Their first land expedition came much later.

Stone was removed for about 80 years in the 19th and 20th centuries. They were making a breakwater for the bay and building out the harbor. Morro Rock bacame a historical landmark in 1968. That gull is just one of the many birds that may call it home. Cormorant and peregrine falcons also nest there, but you can’t climb it. Too fragile for repeated use. We can blame decades of quarry work for that, perhaps.

We caught a lovely sunset on our way back to our room.

Sometimes you need to pull off for the sunset. I think it’s required when there is a coastline available for your composition.

These last three photos, according to the timestamps, were all taken within four minutes of one another. This panorama looks to the west, of course.

Click to embiggen.

I went across the two lane Pacific Coast Highway and faced the east for this one.

And then, walking back across the road to the car, and facing the west again.

There’s some magic in a sky like that. It’s a hopeful thing. Today is closing, but tomorrow has a great deal in store for you. The temperature you don’t notice, the sound may disappear, but on the breeze you might feel opportunity. You might feel the promise of tomorrow on those winds. There’s some magic in a sky like that. Plenty of it.

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