We wanted to take a weekend trip somewhere fun that we had never been before on the motorcycle. So we jumped on the bike and headed to Morro Bay! This is our Suzuki V-Strom, a sport-touring bike which is motorcycle-talk for you have to hike your leg up about 5 feet just to climb on to the seat.
This was our first ‘irresponsible’ road trip (no kid at home and nothing to tend to), so we decide to wing it. Well okay, let’s not go full-on crazy….I made a list of 3 acceptable hotels but I didn’t make a reservation!
We take 101 south towards Monterey. The weather is crisp but not rainy. Having had a near-hypothermia experience on a New Years Day ride, I am now better equipped with heated gloves and jacket. While being toasty, I can still feel the cold air sneaking up into my helmet. We make a pit stop in Carmel for some much needed WARM Starbucks and a pastry. Soon we are off exploring Hwy 1 towards Big Sur. The scenery of the ocean meeting the land is just breath-taking and the clouds hover over the distant road like you’re in Ireland. Wait, I am still in California, right? As we wind down Hwy 1, we are greeted with a light rain. It’s okay, our next pit stop is Cambria which is not too far down the road.
Approaching Cambria, we know nothing about the town except for that gigantic house that you can see on the hilltop is Hearst Castle. We find a roadside cafe which apparently is the hot spot for tourists waiting to go to Hearst Castle or perhaps those finishing up their tour. Hearst Ranch Winery is a little general store with a grill and wine bar and the line to order fills up the store aisle. We each have their smallest burger (1/3 lb) with cheese and fries/onion rings. Right about now, I’m wondering if I should go back on my cholesterol medicine…..
We find a table on their deck where we can people watch and enjoy our magnificent burgers. We can hear the ocean behind some beachfront houses with rock walls and it’s sunny. Ahhh, it’s good to relax a bit and get a full belly! But we are not at Morro Bay, so climb back on to that bike and off we go.
Further on down the road, we arrive in the very cute town of Morro Bay. We ride down the waterfront street to check out the happenings. A few turns later, we find the first of our acceptable hotels, La Serena Inn, and oh yeah the sign says “Vacancy”. They have covered parking which is always a plus in a seagull infested area and we get a room facing the “rock”. No, not Alcatraz, but the Morro Bay rock. Very nice. Innkeeper warns us that the town rolls up their sidewalks early, so we better get to it.
Clean up and we’re off to explore their main drag which is along the water. We spot a French bakery….oh yeah, baby, we’re checking that out tomorrow! But first things first, we need libations! Belly up to the bar and strike up a conversation with the bartender who tells us of all of the good restaurants. Too bad for me, that 99% of them are seafood places. Mo no likey seafood! Due to that half a cow we consumed in Cambria, we’re not all that hungry and finda cute little mexican place. A few appetizers and Coronas later, we go back out into the street where it’s now fully dark and about 20 degrees colder. It’s been a long day, let’s be old people and head back to our room at 9pm….
The next morning, the innkeeper suggests a great breakfast place just around the block. They’ve got homemade everything! I’ll have a biscuit as big as my head and a vat of country gravy, please. After clogging more arteries, we do one last waddle through the town to see what we missed in the cold darkness of the night. Stopping in at that French bakery, we split a cream horn and top it off with lattes. Okay, one tour out to the rock and we’re outta here!
We take 46 back through Paso Robles and discover that there are almost as many wineries there as in Napa! Another thing about California that we didn’t know. Wandering through the back roads near Lake Nacimiento and we’re back on 101 just outside of King City. Battling the wind gusts through Salinas, we manage to make it safely back home. I highly recommend this road trip as long as you like small, winding roads!