~ San Luis Obispo ~

During this leg of the trip, I met up with three online friends in Grover Beach, California. The first was Bonnie, who lives in the area, and, later, two others, Linda and Sherry from the San Joaquin Valley, who also had not met Bonnie, joined us. We had a wonderful time walking around and talking, getting to know one another. It was a great two days.

Oso Flaco (skinny bear) Lake

I am not sure if that is Oso Flaco Lake in the photo on the left. We were on a rise overlooking the valley of farms and the lake and dunes.

I think we wandered into snail mating season. They were everywhere, as were these thistles.

Down at the lake there were ducks everywhere. The one above is sleeping on one leg. I like this photo of two cormorants on the three posts below.

I think the left is Indian paintbrush. The yellow one I don't know, but I like the composition.

Then we walked to the dunes and I got to see more ocean. As if the two hundred miles of Highway One wasn't enough.

Sand and sea

The Spanish moss in California is much more delicate than that in the southeastern states. Then it was time to meet the others for lunch.
Left to right: Bonnie, Sherry and Linda.

Arroyo Grande

There was an Antique Car Show going on in town

The girls are walking across the Swinging Bridge, which is like a mini roller coaster ride.
We stopped at the Santa Manuela Historical Schoolhouse and couldn't resist attending class. One can readily tell the good students from the class cutups (middle two), eh?

After school photo.

We also visited the South County Historical Society, which is housed in a building built by the Oddfellows for their meetings. When the county obtained the building in order to bring it up to earthquake building code standards, they build a earthquake safe box inside the original shell.

The girls cross another bridge. I searched for a '57 Chevy Belair, which was my frist car. Mine was not in this condition.

San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

The Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

The following day, on the way to the mission we passed this bell, a memorial to Ah Louis, a Chinese pioneer, who helped found the city of San Luis Obispo.

On Wong (1840 � December 16, 1936), more commonly known as Ah Louis, was a Chinese American banker, labor contractor, farmer, and shopkeeper in San Luis Obispo, California during the late 19th and early 20th century. His Ah Louis Store building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Ah Louis was a central figure in the development of the Central Coast of California, serving as an organizer of Chinese laborers during the construction of the Pacific Coast Railway's Avila�Port Harford spur and the tunnels through Cuesta Grade over the Santa Lucia Range.
NOTE: Linda and Sherry had to go back home the evening before, so Bonnie showed me around San Luis Obispo.

A cutaway to show the original adobe wall of the Mission buildings

I liked the red, white and blue coloring on these trees

The original Mission alter

A room from the 1770s

In the courtyard

Three of the Mission's bells, The Joy Bell is 25 inches in diameter, weighs 279 pounds and plays "C#", the Gloria Bell is 28 inches, 476 pounds and plays "A", the Sorrow Bell is 26.5 inches, 330 pounds and plays "E".
From the museum and courtyard we headed to San Luis Obispo Creek

Fish (?) sculpture hanging over the creek

Bonnie spies a subject

Then crosses over
San Luis Obispo Creek runs through and even under the town. The creek is an important urban amenity, as it forms a natural backdrop to urban activities and links the people with the natural areas surrounding the town.

While I shoot the creek

And its little waterfall

This sculpture is taken from Chumash pictographs found in the area. The Chumash were the first inhabitants of the area and are known for their colorful pictographs in caves and on outcroppings.
"The San luis Obispo County Chumash Council appreciate this effort to recognize their people. They hope this sculpture will encourage admirers of the art work to seek out more information on the Chumash way of life, paticularly during the Mission period." --The SLO Chumash Council

Inside the Mission church, the alter

The choir loft

The Girl and the Bears bronze sculpture at the mission. Across from the mission is the History Center of San Luis Obispo County, which was once their library.

Did I say I love purple flowers and these smelled so sweet. Here are Bonnie and I joining the little girl with the bears.

Interesting story about the doggie wheelchair. The perfectly healthy dog suddenly developed paralysis in his hind legs. The owner had a friend build the wheelchair modelled after one for another larger animal. The dog is full of love and vigor and wears boots on both front and rear legs to prevent harm from scraping on the ground.
I just can't get enough of purple flowers.

The mission viewed from the restaurant where we ate lunch at The Network Creekside Dining

We also visited an old fashioned book store and a record store that still sells 45s and LPs

I had told Bonnie that I saw these El Camino Real route markers on Highway 101 on the way from Paso Robles and wanted to photograph one. She drove me around for a couple of hours and we didn't find one. Well, we hadn't driven on Highway 101, but along the frontage roads. It turns out that in this area the El Camino Real ran where the highway now runs.

On left is the Fremont Theater. It's not the Warner, but will do. On the right is the Palm Theater, which was the first solar powerd theater in the country. Those are solar panels on the roof.

We stopped at an outdoor "pick your own" market. Bonnie bought some grapes to eat and feed the animals. The colors were amazing and the bees were hard at work.

I had never seen an Emu before

She has them eating out of her hand

You can see the grape in the emu's beak

We, then, headed for the coast again

And pelicans

And gulls

Is it any wonder why some Californians' homes fall into the ocean? On the right is the place where these cliff jumping parachutists take off.

This guy has managed to stay in the area. One did not, caught the wrong wind current and landed about five miles south of here. Bonnie and I were driving that way, when we saw him come down. He said he would have to walk back, so we gave him a lift back up. We had an interesting conversation on the sport. These cliff jumpers can ride the wind for hours, if they catch it right. What a cool way to spend an afternoon.

Music is "Hotel California"

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