Day 4

Daily Stats:
Time of Departure: 8:20 AM                                   
Departure City: Avila Beach, CA (Pismo Beach)
Time of Arrival: 5:50 PM        
Arrival City: Santa Cruz, CA
Total Travel Time: 9 hours 30  minutes (4 hrs 38 min on bike)
TOTAL MILAGE: 192.7 miles
Another successful day on the bike is under our belts. We started off with a cloudy, overcast, and not to mention freezing day in Avila Beach and began our trek upwards on Highway 1 aka the Pacific Coast Highway. We stopped about 30 minutes north for breakfast in Morro Bay at a cute little breakfast place.
From there we continued north to our first stop of the day, Hearst Castle. If you don’t know much or anything about this location, you need to google it because it’s a pretty neat and LONG story. To sum what we saw, William Hearst decided he wanted to build a home on his family’s property here in California. So he and his architect, Julia Morgan, worked together for 28 years to build this “house”…or castle. Much of the design comes from Spanish or Italian influences due to his 10th birthday gift of an 18 month European excursion with his mother. This is a VERY brief summary but here are a few incredible images of his estate.
This is only the main house…not the 3 guest houses
Pool 1 of 2…this one has real 24-carat gold paper melded into the tile work.
Another interesting fact about Hearst is that he bought much of the surrounding land which continues to be preserved today. One area on his property is known for the Elephant Seal habitat. Note: these seals are not dead, they are in what is known as a molting stage (kind of like shedding for dogs and cats). The skinny seals are near the end of their molt, where the fat, brown ones are at the beginning of their molt. This time of year is a mixture of subadult and adolescent males, along with females. It’s quite a sight to see.
Elephant Seals molting
Onwards we went. Heading north on Highway 1 (PCH), the scenery was consistently changing. We would bounce from along the coast line overlooking cliffs to between mountains with a variety of trees along the road.  On the start of ride the landscape had more of a brown/tan coloring to it and as we drove it changed and felt like we were driving through a rain forest. We drove through Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel and ended in Santa Cruz.
I should mention that by two o’clock pm the sun made an appearance warming up the ride just a little but by four o’clock pm, dad and I began to freeze our buns off. Didn’t keep me from taking photos along the way until the last 45 minutes when I couldn’t feel my fingers. 
We finally arrived at our final destination for the dad and the first thing I did was take a hot shower, as 1) I was freezing and 2) I was STARVING so I wanted to get ready to go to dinner. For dinner, we went to this burger joint called Betty’s Eat Inn and they were incredibly delicious and huge burgers. From dinner, we heading to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, where during the summer they do Summer Beach Concerts and today’s was the first of the season! We got to see Starship featuring Mickey Thomas in concert. It was a great end to a great day. 

Starting our morning in full gear
This little elephant seal did not want to play nicely.
Pacific Coast Highway…and yes this is what I saw for a good 4 hours 🙂
Dad and I together
“We  build this city,,,”
© Nicole L. and Mapless Adventures, [2009-Present]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicole L. and Mapless Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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