Day One of Sixteen
Miles Traveled: 301
With our last minute packing out of the way and Yerba Mate compensating for our 4 hour night of sleep, we back out of the driveway at about 11am and hit the 405N.
With LA and OC behind us, we take Google’s recommendation for a “9-minute shortcut”, which translates to a steep switch-back canyon road past a rock quarry. No chance it actually saved us any time, but no regrets…it was far more scenic than passing endless fields on the 101. Our first stop was in Ventura at Poseidon Brewing, where we scored some awesome taco-truck grub and a nitro session IPA w/ cold brew coffee. Wayyy better than it sounds, by the way.
With our bellies and fuel tank full we hop back on the 101 and continue north. An unplanned trip to see Solvang, the strange 100 year old Danish settlement between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, seemed silly to pass up. First stop: Danish bakery for treats that were coated in so much powdered sugar that Justin was literally choking on them.
Then, after some quick Yelp-ing, we find a little tasting room offering 2-for-1 deals. We find the tiny shop just a block from where we had parked the bus; and if the Yelp deal hadn’t drawn us in, the sign on the door that said “AC is on, Come on in” sure would have. We had 5 different wines, our favorite of which was a blend of 15% white, 85% red (he wouldn’t tell us the blend, 2secret4us). The wine was solid, but the real gem was the spicy blackberry zinfandel jam, which he gave us on a peanut butter pretzel. Holy crap, you bet we bought a jar.
After Solvang we rejoined the 101 and complete the last leg of the day; pulling into the Morro Dunes RV park just as the sun begins to set over Morro rock. I knew when I booked the campsite that we would be pretty close to Morro Rock; but I had no idea that we were literally within steps of it. We grab some cold beers from the fridge and walk out onto the dunes to watch the sun creep below the horizon, painting the expansive beach and massive rock in golden light that Nathan described as “the most golden hour that was ever golden hour”. Wisdom.
We wrap up our first day with amazingly good (and surprisingly rare) bison burgers from House of Juju on the Waterfront Embarcadero. Early to bed, and off to Big Sur in the morning!