- travelled north through Hermosillo, the capital of the state of Sonora, turned northwest at Santa Ana and travelled across the Sonoran Desert, leaving Mexico via Soynita and entering Arizona in Lukeville, stopping for the night in Gila Bend (west of Phoenix); we stayed at a 'far out' motel, the Space Age Lodge with a great neon flying saucer on its roof.
- headed west on highway 8, through Yuma, climbing mountain passes with incredibly huge, oddly shaped boulders, some as big or bigger than our car, as we reached 4100 feet; then another Border Patrol stop and on down into the San Diego area.
- found a somewhat funky beach town, Lucadia, to spend the night and enjoy a great dinner; we loved the Del Mar, Encinitas, Laguna Beach area, so green and lush after all that stark, arid desert.
|Pelicans in formation over Laguna Beach|
- Spent some quality time with Kelly's brother and sister-in-law in Los Angeles; enjoyed catching up on family news, as well as ensuring their sweet dog Corky had lots of attention!
- Took our time heading up through Santa Barbara, visiting the marina where we waited out a torrential downpour our first trip down in October 2009; the anchorage is just as rolly as we remembered. Onward up the coast, enjoying the view of the Pacific as we neared the area east of Point Conception. It was one of our real psychological and physical benchmarks of that first cruising season, which turned out to be quite manageable and a great confidence booster at the time.
|Wave patterns on beach|
- Enjoyed visiting the small city of San Luis Obispo, another mission centre, with a pedestrian friendly downtown area, good bookstores, wine stores, brew pubs and a great Thai restaurant.
|Mission San Luis Obispo de Yolosa|
|Commemorative plaque at mission|
- A long day of driving today; enjoyed a stop at Morro Bay to view the huge 'rock' at the harbour entrance and view the anchorage, as we did not make a stop there on our way down the coast. Then onward on Highway 101 through green rolling hills, farmland, vineyards, cattle, vegetable crops. Had to detour inland as the Coast Highway is washed out north of Morro Bay; we took a pass on San Simeon and Carmel.
|Morro Bay waterfront|
|Windblown Gull at Morro Bay|
- Instead, a quick stop in Salinas to pay homage to John Steinbeck; no time to tour the exhibits, but a stop at the gift shop and at Steinbeck's statue, with a resolution to reread Travels with Charley.
|Steinbeck mural in Salinas|
- The Coast Highway is fantastic, but crumbling; road work is underway in several places to repair the eroding cliffs; we wonder if in time this access to the shoreline and beaches will disappear; both literally and because there won't be funds to continue with its upkeep.
- Santa Cruz was a disappointment as far as finding places to stay, so we continued on to Half Moon Bay; here we are revisiting the site of our first anchorage after leaving San Francisco in September 2009; that found us anchoring in a building wind which hit 40 knots and kept us on the boat for 2 nights before we could take a slip and go ashore to explore.
- Tomorrow....San Francisco here we come...not! We plan to skirt around this great city as there is no time to do it justice; likely will cross the Golden Gate Bridge and drive up towards the Redwood forests.