Camping trip to Silver Lake

Riding thru the local hills

Day 1

We headed out in the middle of the week to take another trip on our new Ural motorcycle sidecar rig. We have owned it for a couple of months now and it’s still a ton of fun getting on it and going for a ride each and every single time.

This adventure took us on a three day camping trip where we had a great time riding almost all the way to our destination on small country back roads, from our home near Sacramento all the way to the campsite in the Sierra’s located about 30 miles from Lake Tahoe.

Fiddletown Road

We rode up thru the El Dorado Hills and into Amador wine country where we turned onto Fiddletown Road and meandered our way on the Ural thru the remote golden hills, covered by ancient oaks, heading southeast to our campsite destination.

It was neat to ride thru the small old towns of Plymouth, Fiddletown and Volcano where it looks like we’ve stepped back in time. Most of these places are from the gold rush era and are still pristine and beautiful and open with very few houses and very little traffic.

Eventually we ended up on old highway 88 and heading east up towards Carson Pass in the mountains at 9000+ ft. elevation. We rode on up into big tree country with spectacular views of the mountains and valleys and various lakes all along the way.  P.S. You haven’t seen a big tree until you’ve seen a giant Sequoia.

Silver Lake West Campgrounds

Eventually we found our destination just outside of Silver Lake where we located a great spot to setup our camp at the Silver Lake West campgrounds run by the El Dorado Hills Irrigation Dept. FYI – their service was impeccable, the grounds and restrooms were always kept clean. Props to EDH County for doing a great job with this EDH owned site.

The campsite we picked was right above the Silver Fork of the American River. It was a nice spot because it was quiet and we found some great views along with our nice quiet site. According a camping guide we always use, this place is rated 9 out of 10 – and they were right on the money. This is a very nice campground.

Ural at Camp

After registering and paying for the three nights, it was time to setup camp. We unpacked the Ural, setup the tent, stowed all our gear in the bear box and made our plans for the rest of the day.

Our campsite at Silver Lake West

As usual, the Ural Delay Factor occurred. When people saw the Ural they wanted to find out more about it so we got a lot of visitors from campers nearby and we made some friends with a few folks that were there all three days with us. The nicest folks go camping 🙂

Silver Fork of American River

After setting up camp we went for a hike both up and down the river near our campsite, checking out all the scenery and views and having fun taking photos all along the way.

After setting up camp we rode the Ural over the a local lodge/resort and picked up some firewood.  Can your motorcycle haul stuff like this? The Ural can!

Picking up wood for our camp fires

Day 2

The next day we made plans to hike to a local site called “Pot Holes”. We also made plans to do some fishing on nearby Silver Lake later in the afternoon.

After cooking and enjoying breakfast, we packed our cameras and some water and followed the signs to the Pot Holes trailhead and set out on the hike.

Pot Holes Trailhead

The Silver Fork of the American River begins at Silver Lake and meanders tranquilly along for about a mile before taking on the more rugged characteristics of a typical Sierra river. Before it does this, however it reaches a granite plateau where the waters have formed some unusual pools and hollows that make an excellent, unique, and beautiful swimming hole on warm summer days. The area is located just outside the Silver Lake West Campground and can easily be accessed from there or from Highway 88 as it passes nearby.

Pot Holes

This place is really neat to see. We had fun dipping our toes into the waters and exploring and taking photos of the giant trees and giant granite rocks.

After hiking back to camp we loaded up the Ural with some picnic fixings and also loaded up my fishing pole and gear. We rode down the road and over to Kit Carson Lodge on Silver Lake and rented a small boat and outboard to cruise and fish the lake.

Silver Lake

It was fun riding in the boat around the lake and seeing it all. The weather (for now) was great and we found a really nice remote spot to stop to enjoy our picnic and do some fishing.

After eating and doing a little bit of fishing we sat there relaxing and Ronda started noticing the clouds getting darker and darker and mentioned we should go soon. So I packed up the boat and we got back out on the lake, but instead of going back to the dock, I headed south to check out the other parts of the lake (there was a lot to see). That was where I made my mistake.

Ronda noticing the weather

The weather started getting rough…

It started to sprinkle a bit. Ok I guess she was right and we should head back, so I turned the boat around and started heading north. Then the sprinkles turned to rain. Then the rain turned into a downpour. Then the downpour turned into hail, and lightning. Uh oh, it’s probably not a good idea to be in the middle of a lake, in the middle of the big storm while on an aluminum boat.

It soon started raining and hailing so hard, the drops were splashing down in the lake so hard it looked like the lake was boiling, it got so heavy that we couldn’t see the shores or figure out which way to go.

The fun part was when Ronda mentioned lightning could be an issue, and a minute later KABOOM! A huge bolt of lightning hit the mountaintop that was about a half mile away. Then came the instantaneous KABLAAAAM sound of almighty thunder!

Bad Weather

It was right above us. We were caught in the perfect storm… (Ironically I had been joking about that earlier when Ronda mentioned the dark clouds approaching).

The tiny boat was lost…

We were completely soaked head to toe by now along with all our gear and the boat was filling up with water growing over an inch deep. I eventually spotted some trees and rocks I recognized and we followed the shoreline from there until we found the cove and boat dock to return the rental boat and get off the lake. The guy who rented us the boat came running out when he saw us approaching, he too got totally soaked by the rain that was some great service! I think he was really scared about us getting hit by lightning.

A little rain

Once we were on dry land and all was said and done, all we could do was laugh. We were soaked to the bone, it was still raining, and we still had to ride back to camp.

As expected, the Ural did fine in the rain. When we got back to camp we changed our clothes and dried off, then we hunkered down under a tree to wait out the rain. It lasted about another hour and soon sunshine broke out and we got to see a spectacular sunset thru the trees. It may have rained, but I’m not complaining, that’s all just part of the adventure and fun!

Gone fishing

Almost forgot to mention, while we were out on the lake when the weather was nice. We got dive bombed by two giant four prop cargo or military planes, it was spectacular to see such large planes being handled like jet fighters – those pilots were having a ton of fun!   They also flew by the next day right over our campsite; the plane was so low we all thought it was crash landing – that was a serious adrenalin rush for everyone there.

Day 3

I was still reeling from seeing that giant plane buzz over our camp this morning, that was crazy…. and spectacular!

Today was the day for some first time off-roading with the Ural. I had checked out the local maps and found a route just off the highway that led to some back country camping and hunting areas.

GIant Sequoia Trees

We packed up our gear in the Ural and hit the road. The off-road area was about 5 miles from our camp. I took the turnoff, stopped for a minute to engage two wheel drive on the Ural and headed for the dirt. It was time to see what 2WD can do on a Ural.

Forrest Pond

We rode up the trail for a while and found it got rougher and rougher as we went along until there was barley any resemblance of a road. After a couple of miles we came across an empty campsite in the middle of nowhere. Just past that spot was where the road became nearly impassible.

The road at this location turned into a small rock outcropping that became a challenge to cross. I have to admit I got stuck on my first few tries and eventually dug a hole in the dirt with the rear tire. I was unsure and gave up. I reversed it out of there to head back down the road and go up another way. I wasn’t sure if this rough road would get much worse after those rocks or if it was worth continuing along that route?

As I headed down the road I came across a camouflaged hunter walking up the road with rifle in hand. I decided to stop and talk to the guy to try and find out more about the area to see what was around and confirm my alternative route plans.

Turned out he was a really nice guy named Richard. He was Vietnam vet, living out his existence on his meager social security income camping for free out in the woods during the summers, living in a trailer park outside of Georgetown in the winters. He was out hunting predators (wolves, coyotes) for now and waiting for deer season to start.

Riding the Ural

He told me that up ahead on the road we were coming down from was some great camping and views and that the rock outcropping was the only obstacle on the road. Conditions would get better after that he said. We talked for a while and he told me his history and how he got there and about hunting and off-roading in the area, he was a wealth of local area knowledge and it was great getting to meet him.

We turned around the Ural and rode back up the hill until we got to the rock outcropping again. I tried a few times and once again got stuck. Then I got the idea of lightening the load – so we both got off the Ural and I proceeded to “walk” the Ural up and over the rocks slowly and was finally able to get past the rock section of the trail. That was pretty easy to do that way I learned something new about riding the Ural over huge rocks. I will have to remember that again for the next time.

Rough Road

We continued up the road and found the campsite that the hunter had told us about, it was pretty nice. We will need to go back country camping out there someday soon.

From here we rode until the dirt road ended and asphalt began. We were back on highway 88 and so we headed up to Carson Pass.

I love the Ural, it’s a really fun bike, but I found out it does have it’s limitations. It did not like going up big hills. I could only do it in 2nd or 3rd gear at best. Max speed with the Ural loaded going up hill to Carson Pass was 30mph. That’s ok though, the heavy hills were not very long and I pulled over for the faster moving trucks and cars but it was a bit uncomfortable not being able to keep up with the flow of traffic. I need to learn how to work this better next time. It was not bad, but I think there is a way the performance can be improved.

At the top of the pass we took some photos of the spectacular views and then headed back down highway 88.

Carson Pass

From here we rode to the south end of Silver Lake to check out Plasse’s Resort and grab some lunch. Turns out their restaurant was closed so we bought a few things at the market and headed back to camp to go hiking and have a picnic out on the trails.

View of Silver Lake

After getting back and packing up our picnic lunch and camera gear, we hiked back down the river along the granite slabs to the pot hole pools where we did more exploring all over hiking up and down the boulders. We soaked in some sunshine and took more photos. I even did some experimental underwater videos with my GoPro gear. I’ll get those videos edited and posted later.

Silver Fork American River

After the hike, we went back to camp, made dinner and enjoyed a bottle of wine. The rest of the evening was spent gazing at the campfire and reminiscing over the day.

Dinner time

Day 4

On Saturday, our last day here; we woke up early, made some breakfast and started packing up our gear and loading the Ural.

I knew I had very little fuel left in my tank of gas that I had traveled from home with. After riding all the way there and riding all over on road and off-road in the area for three days, the tank was getting dry.

Since there is no fuel gauge on the Ural, my method of checking is to take the gas tank cap off and move the bike back and forth to shake the gas to see what’s in there – not too scientific but it’s been working out pretty good so far… and then there’s that handy odometer thing. I think I’m getting around 150 miles or so on this 5 gallon tank but I’m not certain so don’t hold me to that.

I found I had about ¼ gallon or so left in my tank so I busted out the Ural’s jerry can that I had filled with gas back at home and used a funnel I made out of a cut up water bottle to put in around 10 liters of gas into the tank. That ended up being plenty of gas to get all the way home. It was nice to know that with my jerry can of spare gas, I can ride anywhere without worrying about needing a local gas station nearby. Did I mention that the nearest gas station to the campsite we were at was about 40 miles away?

Camping gear all packed up

The ride home was nice; we headed back down Fiddletown Road thru the hills and back towards home. As we got closer to our city, we stopped at one of our favorite pubs – 36 Handles in El Dorado Hills for lunch, then headed home to start unpacking and planning our next trip.

Here’s the ride route we took going both there and back.

Ride Route

Thanks for reading about our trip!

Ride Safe!

A movie of our First Ural Adventure

If you’ve got a little time to spare, this is a 20 minute “movie” I made from all the photos and videos that we shot during our 7 day vacation/trip/adventure this past June.  We started in Harbor City (near Los Angeles California) and documented our ride as we rode our new Ural motorcycle/sidecar thru Oxnard, Lompoc, Cambria, Big Sur, Monterey, and Turlock on our way bringing our new rig home to Folsom.

Turn up the volume and grab some popcorn…..

The “movie”  is a 7 day summary of the ride in 20 minutes. For more details about each day of our ride along the coast, check out our notes below in the various posts about each day.

Thanks for taking the time to check out our site – hope you enjoyed it.

Any and all feedback is appreciated.

Have fun and ride safe!

Day 7 – Heading Home

Day 7 – Heading back home

Today was our last day on this adventure; we were going for the final haul across the central California valley to head back to our home in Folsom near Sacramento.

Heading Home

Heading Home

We got up early, packed up the Ural and hit the road.  Left Monterey and headed to Hollister where I gassed up the motorcycle and then headed for the hills to ride over to California’s central valley – which was very warm – 100+ degrees –yoinks!  It was a lot warmer here then it had been for the entire ride up the coast where temps averaged 65-70 degrees.

California Road

California Road

Golden Hills

Golden Hills

Ronda and the Ural

Ronda and the Ural

After riding over the hills, we headed to Turlock for a lunch stop at Dustbowl brewery in their downtown area.  I’ve driven past this town over a hundred times and this is the very first time I ever stopped to see what was here.  Turlock actually has a decent downtown area and the brewery was fantastic! Great service, great beers and great food, we enjoyed our stop here.

Dustbowl Brewery

Dustbowl Brewery

After lunch we rode up the back roads along the farms and ranches.  In one area there was a very large wetland bird sanctuary. Didn’t see very many birds but it was a wide-open stretch that ran for miles with no stops, no buildings, no nothing.

Near Pardee Resevoir

Near Pardee Resevoir

From the central valley we rode towards the eastern hills along Highway 49 and several other back roads until we finally arrived in Folsom.  We rolled up into our driveway, parked the Ural in the garage and spent the rest of the evening unpacking and checking out all the photos and videos from our adventure.

This was a great first road trip on our new Ural – we’re already looking forward to the next one, which is going to be to our local wine country.

Today’s travels:

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Day 6 – Riding thru Big Sur

Day 6 – Riding thru Big Sur to Monterey

Today we left Cambria and headed north towards Big Sur and Monterey.

After having breakfast at the hotel, we checked out, loaded up our gear on the Ural and hit Highway 1 for what was to be the most scenic part of our trip.

First we stopped and got gas in Cambria. While filling up the tank, a guy came by to talk about the Ural.  Turned out he had driven down from Monterey to pickup avocados from a local farm there in Cambria (that’s a long way to go just to pickup avocados for a restaurant).  He told us all about how some of the best avocados are grown in this area and how they do really well and have a better taste because of the coastal valley temps and fog. I told him how I love avocados and how my mom has an avocado tree and I ate them a lot while growing up. He said hold on a minute, went to his van and brought us four avocados that he gave to us – that was really cool and I thanked him. We enjoyed some of those avocados slivered up on crackers at a picnic lunch we had later in the day.

Checking out the views

Checking out the views

From Cambria we rode highway 1 up the coast with lots of spectacular ocean views.  We stopped off several times to check out beaches and scenery and took lots of pictures. One fun place we checked out was the Elephant Seal Sanctuary where we saw lots of elephant seals lazing on the beach with some fighting with each other playfully. They sure do make odd guttural like noises, it’s really weird to hear.

Elephant Seal Sanctuary

Elephant Seal Sanctuary

We also stopped at a favorite spot of ours on the coast – the tiny roadside gas stop/store/bar/hotel/town called Lucia.  Just prior to Lucia we had stopped and checked out our #1 favorite campsite in the world – Kirk Creek campgrounds, which are situated on the cliffs overlooking the rugged yet beautiful oceans with big waves breaking below.  For lunch later we stopped at Pfeiffer State Beach and had a nice picnic under the trees.

Lucia

Lucia

Big Sur

Big Sur

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Later as we rode north and got near Carmel, we pulled over and went on a hike that we found near our parking spot – it turned out we stumbled on some really spectacular scenery and coastal views that were incredible at this location. We looked around and hiked along the cliffs on a nice little trail overlooking the beach below. As could be expected we took a lot of photos and videos of the beautiful scenery that was all around us. This was a very special place, it was hard to leave it but we had a few more miles to go before our stop for the night.

Roadside tree and our Ural

Roadside tree and our Ural

After our hike we rode up thru Carmel and onto the 101 and into Monterey where we stopped for the night at a Best Western hotel.  We got unpacked, settled and showered then headed out on the town. The two of us walked down to Old Fisherman’s Warf to check out the shops and scenery.  After stepping into a few shops to admire the touristy knick knacks, we wandered around more and checked out a few restaurants and finally decided on one where we enjoyed dinner of seafood paella that we shared between us (at the Old Fisherman’s Grotto restaurant). I also had one of the best bloody Mary’s I’ve ever had that came with very tasty large fresh shrimp, it was so good I had to have two.

Monterey Boats

Monterey Boats

We finished dinner and walked around the pier and boat dock and listened to some local street musicians play for a while, then headed back to the hotel for the evening.  It was a nice way to wrap up a great day of riding on the California coast.

Today’s travels:

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Day 5 – Hanging out in Cambria

Day 5 ~ Hanging out in Cambria

The prior evening we decided to stay in Cambria a little longer and so we added another night to our hotel stay and slept in.  We got up late, had breakfast at the hotel and then made our plans for the day.

Sebastian's Store, San Simeon

Sebastian’s Store, San Simeon

We decided to ride back up the coast to Sebastian’s Store, which is a deli, store and winery.  It’s also one of the oldest stores on the central coast, originally built in 1852. Here we would buy some lunch, then go somewhere to have a picnic.

Deli Menu

Deli Menu

We checked out the store (which had some nice interesting items) and we tried and purchased a few of the Hearst wines. They actually had some really good wines, which we found we enjoyed a lot.  For lunch we decided on getting the deli’s Hearst local ranch beef sandwiches that were out of this world delicious and huge! After standing in a fairly long line to place our order, we later received our sandwiches, then packed up our food and rode out on the Ural to check out a few parks and vistas along the oceanfront.  We ended up stopping at a place where we had our picnic lunch at a table on the bluffs over-looking the beach.

San Simeon Pier

San Simeon Pier

At this park we met a guy named Dan, who was a retired psychiatrist from Manhattan NYC who had recently moved here to Cambria.  He was out walking his dog which was a cool little pooch that looked like a mini Doberman but it was something different – forgot the breed name but he said they were rare and he told us all about the breed and how he got it after a long wait.  He told us that this dog was his service dog as he was a Vietnam Vet with PTSD. Really cool guy, talked with him for a while, funny thing was he looked a lot like Tommy Chong.

IMG_2140

While we were eating our lunch we noticed several people walk up to the Ural and take photos of it.  One guy even took close up pictures of it with several different lenses for a while.  It was cool to see people interested in the bike, more UDF.

From here we headed back to the hotel to unload the bike and check out some GoPro videos we had just filmed.  It is our first attempts at making videos on this bike so we don’t know if we’re doing it right yet, but we are learning a lot. There will be some video clips posted soon.

We decided to head into downtown Cambria to walk around and check out the place.  As I was getting on my bike to leave the hotel, a guy ran over from across the street on the boardwalk by the beach to ask me about the Ural – turns out he is the national president of the antique motorcycle club. We talked for a while about the Ural and he told me about his club and the vintage bikes he owns and he gave me his card.  That was an interesting individual. He literally saw the Ural and ran out his way to see it and talk about it. I really enjoy meeting people like this at random; the bike seems to be a magnet for all kinds of different and interesting folk.

Black Hand Winery

After riding into Cambria we parked the bike then strolled up and down the block to see what there was to see.   We stepped into a winery called Black Hand Wines and sampled several of their wines. Ronda and I had a good time with the gal who was pouring the tastings. She was hilarious.  We bought a couple of bottles and continued walking down the street checking out the town.

Cambria Brewery

Cambria Brewery

Down the road we turned and walked off the main street and went to Cambria Brewery to try out their beers. Ronda and I shared the beer sampler and after a while two guys walked in – both short, both with very long hair – they looked a lot like Jay and Silent Bob. We hung out for a while and they told us all about their road trip from San Francisco heading towards LA and all the places they went and the people they met.  During their travels they met some interesting people too and had some pretty good stories. We hoisted a few beers together and had a good time; we had become a part of each other’s road trip, got to luv the fun that can be found by wandering around and meeting people.

People we met at the brewery

People we met at Cambria Brewery

We left the guys at the brewery and went back to main street to a few shops where we bought a few things. We then got the Ural, packed up our purchases and rode up to Nitwit Ridge to check out the bizarre house up there that was built by hand with scrap materials over many years.

Nitwit Ridge House

Nitwit Ridge House

After leaving downtown Cambria we rode back out to Moonstone Drive and headed to the hotel.  Later we went back to the Moonstone Grill for dinner then returned to the hotel for some vino while watching a beautiful sunset.

Sunset in Cambria

Sunset in Cambria

Life is good.

 

Day 4 – The Coast and The Castle

Day 4 – The coast and the castle

California Coast

California Coast

We had a nice restful night in our ocean front hotel room in Cambria and awoke early and refreshed.  After grabbing a quick breakfast at the hotel, we got our gear ready to head out to explore the local area.

Today we rode up the coast a few miles thru San Simeon to the world famous Hearst’s Castle.  We’ve been here a few times before but this time we went on a different tour (they have several to choose from).

Hearst’s Castle

Although we’ve both been here several times before, we never grow tired of visiting this spectacular historical estate built by Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate.

Outdoor Pool (drained due to drought)

Outdoor Pool (drained due to drought)

The estate offers multiple tours of the castle and grounds and this is the first time we went on the Cottages, Kitchen and Wine Cellar tour which took us down to the wine cellar, to the outer buildings (where Hearst and his family lived during the construction of the castle) and to the massive kitchen that was used to serve the family and guests for many extravagant soiree’s over the years.

Spectacular View

Spectacular View

After the tour we walked around the grounds to admire and photograph a lot of historical architecture, statues and views that can be seen all over.

One of many statues at the estate

One of many statues at the estate

For today’s lunch we rode down the street to Sebastian’s Store which also includes Hearst’s Wine tasting room where we tried out several of the local wines and purchased a couple of bottles. Sebastian’s is a historical monument; it’s one of the oldest stores still in existence in California.  Unfortunately Sebastian’s (the sandwich shop part) was closed today so we just enjoyed the wines for now J.

Cambria View

Cambria View

We headed back to Cambria after a few more ocean side stops to check out the great views.  After we got back, we unloaded the bike and relaxed at the hotel for a while. Later we went on a long walk along the boardwalk and then had another nice dinner at Moonstone Grill again.  We ended the evening with a good glass of wine some star watching and enjoyed listening to the waves as we sat out on our patio.

Today’s travels:

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First Ural Ride Video (attempt)

This is my first attempt to make a short video from some of the footage that was recorded during our trip to pickup the new Ural and ride it back home last month.

For this video footage, Ronda accidentally set her camera to record in slow-motion while we were riding along some back roads behind Santa Barbara.  After a little bit of editing, titling and goofing around with audio add-on’s, it came out half way decent (I think…?).

Check it out…..

Day 3 – Northbound on PCH

Day 3 – Continuing our ride Northbound on Pacific Coast Highway

Ural Delay Factor ~ UDF

Woke up this morning to the sound of people outside our room where the Ural was parked. I peaked outside the window and there were a few people surrounding my Ural with one taking photos of it.  This is getting strange, but I’m not complaining, this bike is definitely unique and I’d be wondering what the heck it was too.

As I started loading up the bike with our gear, a few more people came by and wanted to know all about what kind of bike it was. Some thought it was a restored vintage bike; others wanted to know where it came from. This is what I learned is called “UDF” – Ural Delay Factor.  It’s when people come up to the Ural and want to talk about it and learn about it and sometimes take pictures. It’s all good, but I’m still learning more about it myself.

This Travel Lodge hotel in Lompoc was a fun stay. We met a whole cast of all kinds of characters, real people, our kind of people. This is what traveling on the road is all about, meeting different people and sharing a moment in time while we’re all traveling to our own destinations.

Budget Cafe for Breakfast

We left Lompoc around 9am and had breakfast at a local restaurant called Budget Café. It was pretty decent food for cheap prices, thus the name.  We like to go to mom and pop run restaurants instead of chains. Checking out new places on the road is what we live for.  You know the saying, “ride to eat, eat to ride” (heh).

Breakfast Stop

Today we decided to lighten the luggage load a little bit and make some space in the trunk of the sidecar by shipping some gear back home that we felt we could live without.  As you can guess, we kind of over packed a little bit.  So we looked up a nearby UPS store and headed over there to box up some stuff to ship back home.

Highway 1

After taking care of shipping the box of stuff back home, we took Pacific Coast Highway 1 north thru farm country via Guadalupe and enjoyed the open road with very little traffic and nothing but farms as far as the eye could see. I really like riding thru this area and seeing it every time (there’s also a super great Mexican restaurant in town in a really old building on main street).  Guadalupe is an older farming community and to me it really represents a big part of California, which is well known for the agriculture industry here.

Roadside Stop

We cruised north on Highway 1 until we got to Pismo Beach where we continued on an arterial road version of Hwy 101 that ran parallel to the main highway. I soon found a side street with a sign that said coastal access and turned there and headed to the water to take a break and check out the ocean views.

Pismo Beach View

We found some nice parking along a cliffside city park above the beach and enjoyed some beautiful coastal views from here as we took a brief photo op break.

Pismo Beach Stop

We soon got back on highway 1 and headed to Morro Bay, where for the very first time ever I decided to pull off the road and check out the big rock – Morro Rock.

I went down one of the exits and found my way to the bay right across from the Rock and happened to really luck out and get the very last space in a tiny parking lot next to a small pier between buildings where we were able to check out the bayside scenery.

UDF happened again,  a couple of women came over and talked to Ronda about the bike for about 15 minutes.  While they were talking I went and got a couple of quick  photos from the dock of Morro Rock and the nearby fishing boats.  This is our kind of vacation; we’re loving every minute of it.

Photo stop at Morro Rock

 

Click on the photo below(2x) to see it in expanded high resolution panoramic mode

 

Morro Bay and Rock

The Rock

Back on Highway 1/101, we rode up to San Louis Obispo and cruised around old down town and passed by the alley with the wall of gum.

Wall of Gum

We stopped for lunch at a nice tacqueria off of the main street, found nearby parking and enjoyed some really good tacos outdoors while overlooking a small river and checking out the local scene.

After finishing our lunch we got back on the road and drove for a while until we stopped at a town that we’ve driven by dozens of times but have also never stopped to see before  – Harmony California, Population 18.

Harmony, California

This is the smallest town in California (as far as I know).  There are just a couple of houses, a pottery shop, a glass shop and a winery and that’s it. But hey, what more does one need (when there is a winery in town…).

Harmony Post Office

 

Pottery Studio

After visiting a few shops and buying some pottery for Ronda, we cruised on to Cambria to a favorite hotel of ours that we’ve been to several times before and really enjoyed.  It’s The Fireside Inn on Moonstone Drive, our ocean front room looks right out at the water, this is nice, this is what we enjoy, this makes us happy campers.

Parked at Hotel

Cambria BeachLater after checking in and getting settled, we took a walk down the wooden boardwalk that hugs the cliffs over the shores and walked down to a restaurant a couple blocks away called Moonstone Bar and Grill where we enjoyed some really great meals over the next few days.

Seafood Cioppino

 

Cambria

The rest of the evening was spent on our hotel room patio looking out at the ocean enjoying some good vino, reminiscing over the day and enjoying the spectacular sunset.

Sunset in Cambria

We like the Ural more and more as we get more experience with it and it’s been a lot of fun.  Tomorrow we are riding up to see the “castle”.

Today’s travels:

Lompoc to Cambria