Very excited today. I get to drive the Big Sur route. I don’t have a destination planned so I’ll drive where the road takes me and as far as I can go. My friend Gregg from Lexington was the first one to tell me to drive the PCH route to Big Sur. I know Gregg through my neighbors and a poker game.

Before I left I went online and looked up all the places that I should check out along the route. One of the stops was the Lil Hut in Morro Bay … so I drove there.

I walked around and got a good look at Morro Rock.

And now some friendly sea gulls.

Back to my lunch option at the Lil Hut.

The article mentioned that I should try the clam chowder in the bread bowl. The clam chowder was good NOT great and I couldn’t finish the bread bowl.

Time to hit the road. Stopped randomly to view the beach and the Pacific Ocean.

I continued to drive and when I got near San Simeon I noticed some zebras and cows. First time I noticed them together.

And more sea gulls.

Other beach views.

And then there was Hearst Castle. I was told by a few people that I must check out Hearst Castle on my drive. If you recommended it to me then thank you.

Bought a ticket at the Visitors Center

Got on the bus just in time. I bought the last tour ticket available for the next time slot. Whew!

The wheels of the bus go round and round … and then I heard Alex Trebek talk. Whoa!! Are you sure that I am not on the Jeopardy show right now?

Deer… If you zoom in you can see it.

We get off the bus.

Walk around the main part of the castle.

See the statues.

And now enter the castle for our 5 room tour.

Dinner anyone?

How many courses is this? I’m kidding … I know.

Apparently this choir seat allows the priest to appear like he his standing when he is tired by allowing him to rest his butt cheeks. The seat is VERY SMALL and raised VERY HIGH. Not actually conducive to actual sitting down.

The ceiling being cleaned out from years of soot.

The fireplace.

Pool tables… really?

Arabic stuff… neat!

Theater room.

Watching a little documentary about the Hearst Castle.

5 room tour is over and now we are free to explore the gardens as we please.

The outdoor pool is being renovated. It should take two years to fix.

Acres and acres of property. This used to be a zoo. The zebras and cows I saw earlier on the drive before I reached Hearst Castle actually belong to the Hearst Castle.

Two tennis courts.

The indoor pool is beautiful.

It is starting to get dark. Time to catch the bus back.

The view of Hearst Castle and the grounds from afar.

After leaving the castle I drove a little further since I read and also heard there was a viewing point for elephant seals. I found the spot and parked my car.

Walked a few hundred yards on the boardwalk.

And witnessed the Elephant Seal Rookery.

Some cute videos for your viewing pleasure.
Time to head out and see how far I can go.

It is a little cloudy and the sun is beginning to set.

Different views of the same landscape.

I see a bridge and stop to take pictures even though it is dark.

Stop by another stop and take pictures.

And enjoy a brief sunset.

I stop by a restaurant called Nepenthe which is recommended for the views however it is dark so the views will have to wait. Right now I’m starving.
So I get a seat outdoors at the deck and enjoy an irish coffee and duck for dinner. Meal was expensive and well worth the price.

After dinner I drove some more till the next town Carmel. Pulled over and stopped somewhere safe and slept in the car.

Reflections:
Driving through LA again was frustrating but once I hit the PCH I was quite happy. The clam chowder bread bowl was good but not great. The trip to Hearst Castle was mixed. I really didn’t think the inside of Hearst Castle was all that great – but then again I only saw 5 rooms. If this was the first big home/mansion/castle I saw I probably would be awed. I found the gardens, fountains, pools and sculptures fascinating and amazing. Seeing the elephant seals was incredible. Watching the sun was beautiful. I wish I could have seen it at Nepenthe but oh well. I am grateful for all that I have done and experienced.

Expenses: $134.85
Gas: $23.00 (ARCO)
Gas: $25.03 (ARCO)
Lunch: $8.59 (Lil’ Hut)
Museum: $25.00 (Hearst Castle)
Dinner: $53.23 (Nepenthe)