Day 3 – Continuing our ride Northbound on Pacific Coast Highway
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click on the photo below(2x) to see it in expanded high resolution panoramic mode
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.
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.
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…).
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.
Later 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.
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.
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”.