It’s always nice to return to the coast, especially since Mo used to live there for so many years. She knows her way around, knows the special little places to find, and enjoys going back for visits. What we hadn’t really considered when we thought of going was that every single camping spot on the entire coast was already spoken for long before Mo started looking around for something to reserve. We decided to go anyway, and take our chances finding a place to park our home. We knew Wal-Marts don’t exist on that part of the coast, but thought maybe we could find a wide place in the road somewhere, or some other kind of creative kind of boondocking opportunity would present itself. It was to be an adventure and we were ready.
We left early Saturday morning, with most of the holiday traffic already landed. We traveled west on 120 toward the 580, the 880, and on to HWY 92 winding over the last range of hills and down to Half Moon Bay. The best part was the gentle fog rolling in over the hills and the dramatic drop in temperatures as we got closer to the ocean. Lovely! The air was so fresh and clean, and when the sun came through it was sparkly and white.
Arriving before noon, we optimistically tried the local state park for cancellations, none of course. We wandered up the coast with other ideas in mind when we saw a large group of RV’s just south of Moss Beach at the Pillar Point Marina. For 30 bucks a night we were privileged to park on asphalt with no amenities other than proximity to the ocean and reasonable safety for us and our rig, not a bad deal really on the coast of California during Labor Day Weekend with no reservations. Later we realized that the place wasn’t policed very strongly, and it would probably be a fine place to boondock for a night on the coast if one didn’t take advantage of it too often, and landed late in the evening and left early in the morning.
We returned each evening to our parking lot haven, and woke this morning to an almost completely empty space, with nothing to obstruct our view of the marina, the fishing boats, and the ocean beyond the breakwater. Reading about the marina was interesting, and it was nice to see a place that was devoted to commercial fishing rather than just fancy boats. You could even buy fresh tuna and halibut right off the pier from the catch of the day. We chose instead to eat our fresh fish at Ketch Joanne’s, a great little restaurant that was another of Mo’s hidden gems from her years in Montara. http://www.ketchjoannerestaurant.com/
Once settled in, we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the tiny sweet town of Half Moon Bay, with its delightful shops. I especially enjoyed Cunha’s Country grocery store, which has been there since the 40’s, with rows of incredible variety in a small store, organic foods, and specially bottled sauces and dressings. Favorite was the Roasted Raspberry Chipotle sauce which we used for a great dinner of bbq’d pork chops and Cream Vidalia Onion Dressing for the salad.
Then there is the feed store.
Still in place, right in down town. Walk in off the sidewalk to the smell of hay and grain, chicken feed and chickens even. Huge walls covered with livestock ribbons, saddles and ropes, and all you could need if you had animals. Downtown. It was amazing. Of course, we laughed with all the other people on the sidewalk at the feed store clerk trying to catch an unruly rooster in downtown traffic. I guess he must have escaped the feed store somehow. Mo said that she used to buy all her feed here when she had the ranch back in Montara. It was wonderful to see it still operating and doing so well.
We had a great time walking beaches, and took a side trip to explore the tide pools at the Fitzgerald Reserve
On Sunday we spent the morning at the Kings Mountain Art Fair, a wonderful venue in the redwoods on SkyLine Drive, with booths of paintings, ceramics and sculpture from the finest juried artists around, including Mo’s friend Sharon.
We spent Monday relaxing and then drove to all the farms along the highway that are so celebrated for their pumpkin festival in the fall. I found gorgeous flowers at a great nursery and had a great time.
Choosing to leave the coast this morning rather than on the holiday, we are back to Jamestown today after a reasonably easy drive home. Mo will be returning to Klamath tomorrow after our quick little foray to the beach, and we still have a couple of good camping trips waiting for us before the snow flies.