I have a confession. You probably know this by now, but I’m a pretty novice camper. When I started my trip, I was ok with that. I’m still ok with that. But that means there are lessons to be learned. Last night, Charlie and I learned another camping lesson. (Ok, fine. I learned another lesson.)
Rain flys: not just for rain.
Before I pitched the tent yesterday, I checked the weather. I ensured it would be warm enough and that there wasn’t any expectation of rain before I decided not to put up the rain fly. I had enjoyed sleeping under the stars in Death Valley so very much and I wanted to do it again. Well, you see…what had happened was…I didn’t take into consideration the thick, cool sea air. By the time we climbed into the tent, everything glistened from the moisture already present. I thought putting up the rain fly at that point would probably hurt more than it would help. (Trap in the existing moisture?) Besides, how much moisture could there really be? A lot. The answer is: a lot. You guys, the tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad ended up more damp/wet from last night’s sea air than it did in the two days of rain! Oh well. Lesson learned. No harm, no foul. I’m pretty good at drying everything out by now. 😉
I did get to start my day with a hot shower. (Another one, I know! 😀) And, once the car was packed, we were on our way. A quick stop in Cayucos at Top Dog coffee for a morning beverage and onto the PCH.
I was barely out of Cayucos when I saw a sign for Harmony, California. Pop. 18. I had small hopes of meeting all 18 of Harmony’s residents. Instead, it appeared I arrived before the town was awake. Too bad, really. It was a very cute little town. I took a walk around anyway, half expecting someone to question my presence. There was a glass blowing studio and a pottery studio – both of which I would have enjoyed. Eh, maybe it was for the best everything was still closed. It would have been hard to leave either studio empty handed. 😉
From there, we headed into Cambria. Cambria is known for Scarecrow Days during the month of October. Charlie and I took a walk around to check out the different scarecrows. This is the second time I’ve been in Cambria for Scarecrow Days. I’m always impressed with the artists’ creativity and talent. This year, I think the Charlotte’s Web exhibit was my favorite. Charlie, however, was not a fan of Wilbur.
After our walk, Charlie chilled in the car for a bit while I checked out some of the stores. I enjoyed chatting with Peggy, a pottery artist, at one of the local studios. If I had more room in my car, I definitely would have gone home with a few pieces of her pottery.
On my way out of Cambria, I finally found some animals that weren’t afraid of me: a handful of cows and one bull. They sat very nicely while I snapped some pictures. From there, we headed north to Junge Ranch trail near San Simeon State Park. It was a dusty, but pleasant trail that went along the coast. When we returned to the car, we had an Under the Tuscan Sun moment. Both of us were pooped on by a bird! “Un segno! Un segno di Dio!” ☺️
We continued up the PCH, through Big Sur, stopping only at the Bixby Creek Bridge. The stretch of PCH through Big Sur is one of my favorites and an area I frequented when we lived in Monterey.
Once I arrived in Carmel (one of my homes away from home), I made a pitstop at the French bakery to pick up some goodies for later tonight. Then I went to get a pedicure. My feet were in sad shape before I started the trip. After 10 days of traveling, camping, & hikes/walks (most of which occurred in flip flops), this was probably a cruel thing to do to the folks at the nail salon. My feet were still covered with dust and dirt from Junge Ranch trail. But, I must say, I got every penny’s worth out of that pedicure! (They also asked if I was 17, which absolutely made my day!)
Charlie and I made an evening of walking around Carmel-by-the-Sea and visiting places we used to frequent. At long lasting, we were ready to head ‘home’ for the night. My friends, Nina & Peter, have invited us to stay with them while we are in town. Nina isn’t always in Carmel, so the opportunity to visit with her this weekend was a no-brainer! We spent the evening sipping on wine, telling new stories, and reminiscing about the old. Charlie even got to steal two tennis balls and snuggle Nina’s socks. All in all, today has been a really fantastic day. I’m happy to be in a town that still feels like home and visiting people that make my life feel full. ☺️ We’ll be sleeping in a bit tomorrow, I’m sure, but I look forward to the adventures we can have together.