Sunday, May 14, 2017

2017 CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP - MONDAY, APRIL 25TH, 2017

MONDAY, APRIL 25th, 2017

5.08 am. I was already awake when the train rolled through with a very loud whistle. I would not have thought anyone would still be asleep after that, but Gregg still is so there is hope for others. 

5.26 am. Second train came through, very loud this time. 


We left The Indigo Hotel in Santa Barbara at 7.50 a.m., and the odometer reading is 52438.  Trains and whistle or no, I would stay here again.  You can't beat its location and I enjoyed the hotel.


We drove our car onto the pier - actually called Stearns Wharf.  You can read its history here.  It was built in 1872 and is still made predominantly of wood.  In the information board below you can just make out its timeline at the bottom. 


Even enlarged it may be difficult to read so I am adding the snippets of history below.


USA Independence July 4th, 1776

Santa Barbara Royal Presido Founded April 21st, 1782

Worst earthquake in California history destroys missions at Lumpoc, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez.  Tidal wave at Refugio Canyon December 1811



Richard Henry Dana visits Santa Barbara and writes about pueblo in "Two Years Before the Mast" January 14th, 1835

Santa Barbara incorporated as a United States city, 1850



Wharf built and Santa Barbara Yacht Club founded 1875

Southern Pacific Railroad attaches to Wharf at Wye August 1888


Arrival of the Great White Fleet, 16 Battleships and 30 other escort  vessels drop anchor, April 25th, 1908

6.8 earthquake rocks Santa Barbara.  12 die, over 600 buildings damaged or destroyed, July 29th, 1925 at 6.23 a.m.



Actor James Cagney and Partners purchase the Wharf for $200,000, October 1945

Harbor Restaurant Fire closes Wharf for nearly 9 years, April 24th, 1973


Fire at Sea Center and Nature Conservancy, 1986

Fire destroys Moby Dick Restaurant, Santa Barbara Shellfish Company and Mike's Bait Shop, including 20% of surrounding Wharf, November 18th, 1998

Nature Conservancy Fire, April 2002


We parked outside the Moby Dick restaurant and had another wonderful breakfast.  


As we were early we got a table by the window.  Lovely looking at the ocean and there was lots of activity out there. 


Dozens of  Pelicans landed while we ate, but just a bit too far out for a decent photo.  This is one of those memory photos.  It's a memory.








Gregg had the Eggs Benedict with sauteed, thinly sliced potatoes....


I had the French Toast.  


We ate half and then swapped our plates. The Eggs Benedict was excellent and we enjoyed the French Toast also.  My personal favorite as they came with cooked bananas and it was like eating a Bananas Foster topping. Yum!   (Updated note 5-14-17: unbelievably after this holiday I lost several pounds. This after a month of eating wonderful meals. I think the exercise helped more than anything.  We must have walked lots of extra miles and miles).


We liked the large Whale on the outside of the building.


If you look closely you can see that Captain Ahab's whaling ship, Pequod has been painted in the eye of the white whale, Moby Dick.


Its artist is Beth Amine.  There was an interesting explanation near the Whale.  Enlarge if you need to read it, any of the photos in fact.


I also noticed a small wooden whale under the tail of the much larger one, with a commemorative plaque.  


I was curious who Karl R. Henry might be, and found information online here. It read:

In 1975, after working for B. F. Goodrich Co. building aircraft de-icers and fuel-cells for 35 years, Karl Henry retired and moved to Santa Barbara from Stow, Ohio.  He loved woodcutting on his bandsaw, and cut animals as gifts for friends and family members.  For fun he cut 30 wooden whales each week to be given to children as gifts here at the Moby Dick Restaurant.  And for that generosity he will always be remembered as "The Whale Man".

A lovely story, a lovely man and a sweet tribute to his kindness and generosity of spirit.


If you find yourself in Santa Barbara and from our own experience, I can highly recommend the Moby Dick Restaurant on Stearns Wharf.



9.28 a.m. and Gregg just noticed I put my top on inside out. Went to breakfast with the label and the seams showing. Walked out of the hotel, walked along the street. Good grief, it's come to that has it?  


Driving on 101 North. Plush green hills on my right and gorgeous ocean views on our left.  Passed hopefully a field of sure-footed cows, the hillside is so steep. 


10.00 a.m. passed plants with netting on them and next was a sign advertising a blueberry farm.

   
10.19 a.m. passing vineyards, one saying student vineyard, Hancock College.  Now another huge field full of vines, going on for what seems like forever. 

11.43 a.m. We just passed a sign for the California Men's Colony, which is a state prison.  We aren't too far from San Luis Obispo. 


At 12.40 p.m. we leave Morrow Bay. It is very windy but we had a very enjoyable time watching sea otters lying on their backs feeding, also at least one seal and lots of gulls and cormorants.  (I took a lot of photos but had a problem with the memory card and haven't been able to get those photos back.  It is corrupted. We were using a new card converter and I refused to use it again.  We bought a new one.  Gregg thought it was just time for the card to pack in.  We have had it for a long time and that may be true, but I didn't want to take any chances with my precious photos.  Thankfully I download my photos each night and only lost one day, but they were of those darling sea otters and one came in so close.  What's most important is that I had the joy of seeing them with my own eyes. Really must remember that.  Ah well, things happen. This was when using the camera card for our larger camera with the zoom lens).


We came across the Fishermen's Family Sculpture, 'dedicated to those who wait the families of all mariners', and created by artist Elizabeth MacQueen.  


We drove over to that rather large mound known as Morrow Rock.  The inscription reads:

"Morro Rock, an important mariner's navigational landfall for over 300 years, chronicled in the diaries of Portola Fr. Crespi and Costanso in 1769, when they camped near this area on their trek to find Monterey, sometimes called the "Gibralter of the Pacific".  It is the last in the famous chain of nine peaks, which start in the city of San Luis Obispo."


1.06 p.m. I saw a sign for Nitwitt Ridge in Cambria.  That night I looked it up and found that it was a house built by artist/recluse Arthur "Art" Harold Beal, who bought the hillside in 1928.  He spent the next 50 years using only a pick and a shovel, and as the website says, built his own castle on a hill, referring to Hearst Castle not so far away.  


1.16 p.m., 30 to 40 knot winds Gregg says. We stopped at a parking area overlooking the ocean. The waves are whipping up and it is decidedly chilly. 

I have a lot more to say about this day but I think I should leave that until the next post.  



36 comments:

  1. Santa Barbara has had more than it's share of tragedy! I had not known any of this. I love your beautiful picture of the wharf. I do see the ship in Moby Dick's eye! What a strangely beautiful picture of the blueberry houses. Another favorite is the bay, with the yellow flowers, hill, and ships. I agree, you walked so much that it made me tired just reading about it!

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    1. It certainly has Ginny. Santa Barbara has weathered the storms so to speak. It is a beautiful town. Glad you enjoyed my post :)

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  2. Whale Man sounds like a truly special man. Thank you for spreading his story.
    Sigh on the photos of sea 0tters. I lost albatross photos while in Antartica for similar reasons. Despite having them in my memory I still mourn.
    Laughing at Gregg sleeping through the train. I suspect my partner would too. He can (and has) sleep through fire alarms...

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    1. I am happy you liked Whale Man's story EC. Oh I feel for you on those albatross photos. Yes our men could probably sleep on a line post, as the old saying goes :)

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  3. Interesting, especially the story of The Whale Man. There are a few places there I would like to visit but (wink) only if I had my top on the right way.

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    1. Ah yes, always put your top on the right way, hehehe. My top stayed on the right way for the rest of the trip! Enjoy your week Valerie. Hope your new phone behaves itself ;)

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  4. a beautiful place and I would love all that history... our train goes through at 4 am and 5 or 6 am again... it is 3 miles from us but I can still hear it each morning

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    1. We once stayed at a place that was right next to a railway track. It was interesting watching the trains go by but wouldn't want to do that again. I lived near a train track growing up and remember it being a whole lot of fun.

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  5. What fabulous words and images. And it's always a real pleasure to see you and Greg looking so well! May I make a friendly suggestion? Take it for what it's worth. When I began blogging, I got a comment that said: "This is too much for one post. People like to skip through a brief post - not read or see too much." Frankly, I was stung a bit. But I took the insight to heart. The character of m blog is the result. So I would say, Denise: This wonderful material is a weeks worth of posts! Just a loving suggestion. I adore spending time here. Surely your other friends do too. Hope this isn't out of line! Fondly, c <3

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    1. Hi Cloudia, I am so glad you brought this up. I have been wondering about the length of my traveling posts. I am torn between writing for two different audiences, one my family who want to see every detail of our trip and my blog audience. I am hoping my blogging friends will bear with me until I get through them all, as I will be making them shorter once they are finished. Thank you so much for writing, I always appreciate your comments.

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  6. Wonderful post that makes me want to drive down to S.B! :-)
    I grew up with the Battleship Olympia in Philadelphia as a landmark and class trip destination, so the great white fleet seems an old friend. Fun to hear more about it. Always a pleasure to see you and Greg looking so well. (ps - you may choose to keep my previous message about our craft of blogging private :) Again, hope my remarks weren't rude or unappreciative of your posts I so enjoy

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    1. Thank you Cloudia, I posted both your comments because they are relevant and will apply to others who may be thinking along the same lines. I took no offense I promise you :)

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    2. Denise - Your comments above are appreciate :)

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    3. Any time my friend and thank you :) I always appreciate my blogging friends who have my interests and feelings at heart.

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  7. You take everything in. You put the history of the area in and it also describes the area.

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    1. I have always had a very curious mind, and what I can't read I take photos of so that I can read later. It's always a fun trip for me but also a learning one. Thanks Red :)

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  8. Ohhh to stop and listen to the waves....... -sigh-

    Happy Mother's Day!!!!

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    1. Thank you LC, you too :) Listening to the waves, I rarely get to do that but when I do, sigh ;)

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  9. So much history! Loved all the info on the wharf and also on the whale painting. Morro Rock and the Fisherman's Family Sculpture were also so interesting! I love seeing the history of a place! And your photos are lovely! What an awesome trip!

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    1. Thank you Marie, us too. We had fun at each place we visited.

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  10. Beautiful photos, Denise, and such a lovely and fascinating post! Would you believe I have never tried Eggs Benedict? Gregg's dish looks delicious! And it is so nice to see your lovely smiles. I love nature and the ocean, and this looks like a place that I would love to explore. But wait, I have....thanks to your post and photos. :) I hope you had a great weekend. Hugs to you.

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    1. I didn't try Eggs Benedict until I came to the States Linda, and only a few years ago. There were things I tried on holiday this time I had never tried before, like cheese curds :) hugs also :)))

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  11. Lots of great photos and history you shared. I especially enjoy learning about places I've been but you payed more attention to with great details. We used to camp at Refugio State Beach and our nephew was married at a Blueberry farm on the right side of 101 just as you make the curve at Gaviota headed for Buellton. Have a great day!

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    1. I enjoyed the things you shared Ellen, so very interesting. Thank you :)

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  12. Santa Barbara is a lovely city but it certainly has a long list of various disasters!
    You've traveled such a long way, but looks like you're having fun and seeing some great sights.

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    1. Very true, we have enjoyed every mile of this road trip. It was a real education learning along the way. Thanks Janie :)

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  13. I just love the Santa Barbara area. It looks like you had a really good time.

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    1. We loved it too, and yes we had a very good time. We want to go back one day and stay for a week or more. Thanks Yogi :)

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  14. Seal rockery is a masterpiece of nature love from Europe

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    1. Thank you Gosia, I totally agree. With love from Northern Virginia :)

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  15. The whale mural has to be my favourite.

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    1. I thought it was wonderful, and probably mine too. I took many more photos of it at every possible angle!

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  16. Great post again.
    I especially liked the Fishermen's Family Sculpture.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan, it was a lovely statue.

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