Pillar Point- Half Moon Bay

It was a cold and stormy day today, but that didn’t stop Callie from going on one walk and looking out the window and enjoying the view of the ocean and the seagulls that fly past at breakneck speed. We are literally parked right alongside the coastal trail and a field of flowering ice plant. The jetty is in front of the RV and the bay is to my left. I can hear the waves crashing over the sound of the personal heater for Callie, and unfortunately, the Cabrillo Highway is behind us. You can hear street noise but I have been told that it quiets down at night. The mournful call of the foghorn blasts frequently and I love the sound. Our hostess, Cindy, is really nice and helpful and Lara, Michael, and Fred should be arriving soon from their day in downtown San Francisco.

What an awesome RV Park- Pillar Point RV Park has full hookup so we will be taking showers in the RV. Callie’s litter box has to be moved from the shower and onto the bathroom floor. The shower is a perfect place for her litter box and I am totally thrilled with this RV. We have had it for a little over a year now and bought it used. I have named it Pipsqueak because we are usually one of the smallest RV’S in the parking lot. At 24 ft, it is the perfect size for us. Fred’s Minnie Winnie is parked right next door.

Pillar Point RV Park

We moved the RV’s over to Pillar Point RV Park this morning before Fred and Michael drove Lara into San Fransisco for the GDC18 game developers conference. Lara wants to hang out there until 7:00 tonight. It is the first day of lectures and she is so excited about it.

Pillar Point RV Park is right next to the ocean and Half Moon Bay and a major storm has stalled over the area and will drop rain for 4 days straight. I happen to really love the rain and I am settled in the RV with Callie all curled up under a blanket and in a tight ball on the front seat. It is cold, wet, and windy out and the rain is coming down really hard now. I have a portable heater blasting hot air and it is aimed right at her. I am rarely cold these days being the mature older woman that I am, but Callie and Lara love it warm and toasty.

We are staying here at least until Saturday morning and I am so happy that we moved from Half Moon Bay RV Park. I can look out at the jetty and bay through the windshield and watch the rain fall on the ocean and the wind churn the sea into frothy foam. What a difference from a couple of weeks ago in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park where I live.

Fields of Gold

I realize that some plants are just flowering weeds, but weeds are flowers that just happen to be growing in the wrong place at the wrong time. Half Moon Bay is covered with these golden yellow blooms and the hillsides and fields are alive with color. Mustard grass, Bermuda Buttercups, and Fiddleneck are three of the flowers that I can identify but there are others that I cannot. Tiny white and purple flowers are also sprinkled in the sea of golden yellow.

We are leaving Half Moon Bay RV Park early tomorrow morning and moving over to Pillar RV Park on the north side of town. We will be staying right on the ocean next to the bay and there are cats hunting for mice and all such creatures in the wildflowers and I wonder how Callie will act when she sees them or meets them on our walks. She has forgotten about Romeo since we left Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and her evenings spent searching for him in the master bedroom window are behind her.

Callie is living her life again on the road and the adventures she is having are worth writing about every day:) we can’t wait for our move to Pillar RV Park tomorrow morning, what a time we shall have camping along the seashore.

Exploring Half Moon Bay RV Park

Lara, Fred, and Michael drove into San Fransisco so that Lara could register and get her badge for the 2018 Game Convention. This gave Callie and me ample time to explore the park. She didn’t get very far though on her first day of walking because of travel fatigue from the day before. Callie has to be very involved the whole time we are on the road and takes her job of RV dash cat very seriously. An afternoon nap will make everything all right.

Half Moon Bay

Our drive to Half Moon Bay was delightful and Callie enjoyed the entire trip hanging out on the dash and playing co-captain. The bright yellow mustard and fiddleneck flowers are blooming everywhere and cover the fields alongside Highway 1. It has been raining all of last week and it will start raining again tomorrow, so new growth is abundant and prolific blooms carpet the hillsides in fields of gold.

We stopped by an Albertson’s in Morro Bay before we headed out of town and stocked up on groceries and supplies because we are set to hang out in Half Moon Bay for a week. The GDC18 Game Developers Conference is being held at the Moscone Conference Center in San Fransisco and our adult daughter is going to attend. Half Moon Bay RV Park is only 30 miles away, so we rented a car and will take her to the conference and pick her up while we play in the city.

Half Moon Bay RV Park is basically a dirt parking lot but the bathrooms and showers are clean, spacious, AND with plenty of hot water to use without worrying about putting quarters into a slot makes it worthy of 5 stars. When you arrive at the RV Park you are greeted by 3 cats and a retired bright red, British double-decker bus with Christmas lights blinking on and off. Seeing as it is the middle of March, it is rather eccentric, but we were welcomed warmly and put in space #7 with Fred next door in space #6 alongside a tall hedge of fragrant juniper or cypress for privacy.

Our daughter Lara earned a Ph.D. in Physiology in 2017, but it was not her passion and she wants to explore the possibility of becoming a producer in the gaming industry. She is gifted in multiple languages, computer science, computer graphics, writing, and mathematics. I believe she can do whatever her heart and soul desires so we are trying to be very supportive. She is our only daughter and we want her to be in a work environment that makes her heart sing with joy, but pays well too! I don’t think that it is too tall of an order considering her vast talents.

Today it will be clear and sunny but will rain the rest of the week, so I will make sure to get Callie out for a walk to explore her surroundings. Last night we hiked to the beach and watched a glorious sunset turn from a silvery lilac and yellow to lavender, red and molten orange. It was magnificent, to say the least. The shoreline was practically empty of people and the sand was a coarse bleached, pale off-white; this was perfect conditions for photography, and I took full advantage of the evening.

Wake up- Let’s go for a Walk!

It has been rather cold and rainy this past week in Morro Bay, and Callie isn’t exactly enamored with the weather, but she is game for a walk as soon as I can entice her to go outside. The sun was shining for a little while this morning, so Callie was able to close her eyes and inhale all of the delightful scents after a sky cleansing shower. Jasmine is blooming across the street and you can get a faint whiff of this gorgeous smelling flower when you head toward the marina. When you get closer to the blooms, the scent is intoxicating.

We are spending one more night at Cypress RV Park and will take the 3.5-hour drive to Half- Moon Bay tomorrow morning. I am looking forward to exploring new territory and I am sure Callie is too. This RV Park isn’t the best place for walking a cat, she prefers a few more trees and the gravel here hurts her dainty paws.

Morro Bay is very Bike Friendly

Morro Bay is a fabulous place to cycle and hike in. The community is very bike friendly and a coastal trail for walking and biking extends for many miles. We have taken the trail to Cayucos on Highway 1 which had some traffic on it but the shoulder is spacious and I didn’t feel too uncomfortable. I do not like to share the road with cars and that is why biking in the desert is so appealing to me.

The nature sanctuary trail is also wonderful and there are viewing benches to observe birds such as the endangered Snowy Plover. The sand dunes have nesting areas cordoned off and these adorable little shorebirds are treated with respect and courtesy and given prime site sanctuary locations in which to raise their young without being stepped on and trampled. I love this about Morro Bay; they are very pro-wildlife and try to give local and migratory animals a place to thrive in alongside us humans.

If you are staying in Morro Bay and wish to bike north, head down to Morro Rock and follow the boardwalk north of town until you pass the water treatment plant. Right before you bike underneath the Highway 1 bridge, turn left into the high school and follow the paved path on the west side of the highway. This trail will take you to Morro Strand State Beach and from there you can hook up to the 1 and follow that North to Cayucos. If you wish to bike south, Morro Bay State Park is another great place to bike around in. I don’t recommend going to Montana de Oro by bike because of the narrow roadway, but it is an incredible place in which to hike along the sand dunes. Biking through town is also fun because the cars go slowly and there is a bike path.

I have a front loading handlebar basket that I use for Callie and she loves biking but it has been too rainy and she has had to be left behind in the RV. I don’t think she minds all that much though. When we return, I find her in the same position as when we left. She seems to really enjoy all the activity of RVing and there is never a dull moment. She can rest on the dash and watch people walking their dogs or she can jump up into the loft for privacy and take an uninterrupted nap.

Morro Bay has a fabulous bike repair and rental shop called – The Bike Shop that is on Main Street in town and my husband bought an off-road Raleigh bike for me last time we stayed here. I love this bike and use it off-roading in Anza- Borrego Desert State Park. We have been coming to Morro Bay for 40 years now and this sleepy fishing community hasn’t changed all that much. It is a great place for walking, hiking, kayaking, fishing, and windsurfing.

Callie is a Rock Star

The new harness that I purchased for Callie at Petco two weeks ago has passed the test with flying colors. Not only does she look like a rock star, she IS a rock star. It looks adorable on her, and the harness which is like a vest appears to be much more secure and seems very comfortable to boot. The other harness was about 5 years old and if she put her mind to it, she could wriggle out of it in seconds flat. You could not take your eyes off of her just in case she panicked and started to back up. If that happened, it was best to release the tension on the leash so that she didn’t use it to tuck her elbows under the strap in order to free herself.

We took a lovely walk around the RV park and Callie seemed quite proud of herself. The rain has finally subsided so I will be able to walk her again later today. It has been raining on and off since we arrived in Morro Bay, but that hasn’t stopped us from having a fabulous time. It is a warm southern storm that is dumping a consistent soft rain that sounds beautiful on the roof of the RV. Callie loves it when it rains and she has a view from the upper left window to look out at. Of course, she has to nestle herself in between the rungs of the ladder.on the loft bed- that is so cat like!

A Rainy Day in Morro Bay

When you have been living in the desert like I have for the past couple of years, heading up to Morro Bay and spending the day in the rain is a welcoming thought. California is still reeling from a 10 year or more drought, so all of us Californians are doing the happy dance and welcoming the moisture.

It started to sprinkle last night and Michael actually grilled BBQ tofu and I made a spinach and rice dish. We are out of propane from our Death Valley trip and didn’t feel like stopping to fill up on the road yesterday. We are staying at Cypress RV Park and it is our favorite spot at the bay. It has a view of the rock and the smokestacks and we have partial hook-ups. The bathrooms are right next door and the place is immaculate. Fred is over by the office and has a short walk to the showers and bathrooms but he also has full hookups.

In the early afternoon, we took a walk in the drizzle and headed over to the Embarcadero and Morro Rock. Last night I didn’t take my camera along and we spotted an Osprey, an otter pounding a clam open with an abalone shell, a Night Heron, and a gigantic sea lion. I was so aghast that I didn’t have my phone with me and I missed so many good shots. This afternoon I made sure I had my camera and while the day was not as eventful, I still saw a lot of wildlife. That is what I love about Morro Bay.

Great Blue Herons frequent the shoreline in search of fish and the otters are really comfortable around people. Did you know that an otter has skin folds underneath both arms that pocket their favorite tool and dinner? I didn’t know that! The mother otter also blows air onto her pups fur so that it stays buoyant and it won’t drown. The 3,000 or so otters left are from a colony of about 50 that came down from the Big Sur area. They were hunted for their dense fur and were almost wiped out. They are making a comeback but are still considered endangered.

We will be staying here for a few days and then head up to Half Moon Bay so that our daughter can attend a game seminar in San Fransisco. She has finished with school and is now actively seeking employment. She would like to be a producer for a top-notch game company and we are totally supportive of her decision.

Callie hasn’t moved all day and enjoys sleeping in the RV on a rainy day and listening to the rain drops fall on the roof. She also loves traveling in the RV and sleeps up in the loft where she can peek out the tiny window and survey the world below her while feeling safe and protected. She also climbs up on the dash and can look out the windshield and see Morro rock and the smokestacks. The fog horns are sending out their protective warning to all boats out at sea and I love the mournful call they make in the dense cloud layer.

The photograph of the two otters is from an informative plaque by the marina.

White Rainbows

On the drive up Montezuma Pass yesterday on our way to Morro Bay, I witnessed a strange phenomenon emerging from heavy fog when my daughter and I pulled off the side of the road because a trucker had motioned to us that there was something wrong. At first, I thought he was upset with me for driving the heavy RV up the pass too slowly. He came up along the side of me and refused to leave until I pulled over to investigate.

I had Lara get out of the RV and she discovered that her bike was dangling from the bike rack that had collapsed and the extension arm was bent down toward the ground. Her bike was hanging on by a thread- or rather a bungee cord and could have so easily broken loose. We were very fortunate that the bike hadn’t fallen off of the rack. I wish the trucker had stopped so that I could have thanked him profusely! From what I hear, truckers really look out for each other and I have noticed that whenever they pass me with Callie on the dash and I am driving the RV, they smile and give me a thumbs up.

We were able to snap the extension arm into a horizontal position and put the bike back up and secure it. By the time my husband and Fred discovered that we were missing in action, they turned around and came back to investigate. It all worked out just fine, and the reward for stopping at this particular place was a white rainbow or fogbow. I have never heard of such a thing and didn’t know what I was looking at. The mist was gently burning off and what emerged was this white arch rising out of the light and mist. Fred joked that it wasn’t very colorful, and with that, I was in agreement, but it was so unusual looking and in hindsight, I am really grateful that I snapped two photographs of it. I posted it online yesterday with, Callie’s Troubles are Behind Her blog post and my NationalParks follower suggested it was a sun halo. That didn’t sound quite right because it wasn’t cold enough for ice crystals to form, so I looked it up this morning on Google. A white rainbow is pretty rare and one photographer saw one in Rannoch, Scotland and said, “I have never seen anything like it in the 10 years capturing landscape photos around the globe.”

White rainbows, ghostbows, or fogbows are rainbows with the color leached out of them. They emerge from the fog that is thin enough for light to pass through. I saw the reddish tinge at the edges and there can also be blue, but the color is wiped out in the center of the rainbow. The sun needs to be at your back, which was the case for me. I was looking west in the morning and the sun was behind me and rising up over Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. As with a rainbow, a fogbow’s arch is shaped from water droplets and the sunlight passing through the drops is at a perfect angle. The water droplets are 100 times smaller than rain droplets. Most of the light is scattered when it hits these tiny droplets, but some of the light is refracted and the white or colorless rainbow then appears. The sweet spot, where the reflected and refracted sunlight is concentrated most, actually forms a complete ring and can sometimes be viewed from above in airplanes. Due to the incredibly small size of the droplets, the light waves don’t spend enough time interacting to separate cleanly and refract and cause the prism effect associated with colorful rainbows.

How fortunate I was to experience some misfortune so that I could witness this unusual rainbow. It was so eerie out with the mist rolling over the green pastoral scene and cows mooing off in the distance. It brought the stress into perspective and diffused it so that a bigger and grander picture came into view.