Sunday, May 12, 2013

The magnificent coast from Santa Cruz to San Francisco

Most of the day was gray with fog but the sun shining through from time to time turned the wave caps into sparkling diamonds.  The cold brisk air kept all but the hardiest travelers off the beaches; I felt fortunate that I had this world entirely to myself.
 It would have been fun to stop at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse but daylight was running out.  There are no Walmart parking lots for many miles, signs were posted all along the way saying, 'No Overnight camping', and the area was too remote anyway for me (a single woman) to feel comfortable without some other people around.

I might have checked the Lighthouse for a bed for the night, (it is now a hostel) but that did not appeal to me--or to Sigh Me who was glad to have me back in the RV after Monterey.

I decided to check out a couple of the Harvest Host farms in the area and perhaps one of them would accommodate me for the night.  Harvest Host is an organization of small family owned specialty farms, wineries and farm related businesses that allow free parking on their premises for members of the organization.

This particular farm and store is located right on the ocean so I stopped in.

There was a retro feel to the 70's..

...with lots of peace, love, flower power and Cesar Chavez decor.

And once again, no one was minding the store.  Maybe they were all out picking berries but I found their complete trust in our fellow man to be refreshing, though somewhat naive.  And again, I regretted not being able to ask if this 'strategy of trust' actually pays off.

I didn't stay long though I bought a small jar of wild blackberry jam (and I think I put a little too much money in the box).
It was still early enough to get to the town of Pescadero before dark where I knew I would find another Harvest Host member.

When I find these really remote little towns I always wonder what life is like for the residents..

What do they do for entertainment? How do they earn a living?
I found these two signs in the post office that may supply a few clues.

I located the second Harvest Host store just on the edge of town where they welcomed me with a quiet spot to park for the night.

I was surrounded by a variety of farm animals, a vineyard, and a verdant picturesque panorama of hillside farms.

There is something inherently soothing, even to this 'city girl', to wake up in the morning to the crowing of a rooster.

Sigh Me enjoyed meeting the farm cats through the window.

And even though the road was right there, not a car drove by after 9 pm.  It was a great night's sleep.

The next morning I met the Phipps family, bought a few vegetables and asked permission to stay a second night.  


  1. I'll bet that area is full of Silicon Valley millionaires now.

    1. Hattie...i was expecting that as well but it hasn't happened. However several of the local people did tell me that a lot of the small farms were being bought up by a very wealthy woman from the bay area. They didn't know who she was and they didn't think she was planning to farm at all. One old guy said, "she just brings in a lot of gardeners and they go around mowing and trimming stuff"--Toni

  2. It's wonderful that this still exists, and that you're able to be there. One of the advantages to being in a small vehicle. We couldn't go there.

  3. Toni,
    Nice to hear from you. I suspect many of us harbor a secret, or not-so-secret, wish to move to a quiet small town, off the beaten track. I've lived in one very small town, and while it had some things going for it, I only stayed two years. No place is perfect, but it seems really hard for city dwellers to change to small-town ways. My experience was that the small town people spent a lot of time on the road, going to and from a bigger town, to obtain all the things that we're used to, but that are not to be found in a tiny town, such as supermarkets, dentists and vetinarians, just to name a few. But I do miss the sense of spaciousness, the quiet, and no traffic jams.
    Keep in touch.

  4. Lynda and Allison...Thanks for the comments. It's great to hear from you both again.