Mid-morning snack/lunch is mostly orange food: hard-cooked eggs, carrots, salmon, and oranges.
We're heading for Morro Bay on the coast, with luck by 1 pm for some sun and a hike. It's a beautiful 60 degrees, slightly overcast, a fine day for seeing the blow from the grey whales migrating south from Alaska to the Baja Peninsula and the Sea of Cortez, where they have their babies before returning.
We pass Hearst Castle without stopping. Here's the thing: the light shapes our trip, and with setting sun around 4 pm it's a toss-up between stopping and exploring and knowing we have someplace to stay. It's the xmas/new year's holiday week and campgrounds are busy.
Though this one didn't look busy when we checked in...
We had a grand vertical hike, past trees with peeling bark, climbing to about 1000 feet.
The extent of Morro Bay's considerable estuary was apparent from the top.
As we returned, the sun was setting on Morro Rock.
And the quiet campground had been transformed into a holiday weekend family festival. This group, situated just behind our candle-lit interior, apparently brought every last item from their house and garage, and cranked up their generator and lights to maximum the entire evening. We laughed until we cried.
Meet the neighbors
For that last trip to the bathhouse, no flashlight required.