As we departed Cambria this morning, cycling along Moonstone Beach, we could finally see the ocean again.
The fog has lifted but it is still overcast.(Funny aside, the packaged coffee in the hotel room is called “Foglifter”). This weather condition is fine with me as I would rather ride with clouds and have the bright sunshine in the afternoon once the ride is over. It just makes for gray photos.
If you have been following the trip, you have probably noticed as we have that the landscape has changed from vivid green fields, thick forests, and loads of wildflowers. We are now in the land of “brown”. Rocky cliffs, brown fields, dusty roads, sandy shoulders are now the visual field as we ride, if the fog has lifted!
We took a detour through Cambria on Business Route 1 to check out a unique dwelling called Nit Wit Ridge, a historical landmark because of its unusual construction. Art Beal built this “three level fantasy environment from collected materials in Cambria – the locals call it the Poor Man’s Hearst Castle” Beal was a local trash hauler and also some of the materials were scavenged from the Hearst Estate.
“Nitt Witt Ridge, one of California’s remarkable twentieth-century folk-art environments, is the creation of Arthur Harold Beal (Der Tinkerpaw, or Capt Nitt Witt), a Cambria Pines pioneer who sculpted the land using hand tools and indigenous materials, inventiveness and self-taught skills. A blend of native materials and contemporary elements, impressive in its sheer mass and meticulous placement, it is a revealing memorial to Art’s cosmic humor and zest for life.”
We took a few photos and then a vehicle drove up with Virginia license plates, which we haven’t seen in 3 months. Turns out the driver was a Navy man, stationed in San Diego, his wife went to William and Mary AND was a student at Coventry Elementary School in the 90’s when I taught there… she remembers Mrs. Beal for kindergarten and Mrs. Nadig. She remembered my name but did not have me as her third grade teacher. After third grade her family moved to Vermont. “6 degrees of separation”
We cycled on through town and up a few brown hills with the sunshine, then as soon as we turned back toward the coast, the fog drifted back in.
We stopped in Cayucos for a coffee break and met several cyclists (also on a coffee break) from the San Luis Obispo Cycling Club. There were tandem riders, and trike riders as well as regular two-wheeled bike riders. We had a great time sharing stories with them. In a few more miles we reached Morro Bay where we are staying this evening. Another small world story – as we checked into the hotel, the manager said, “Oh you are from Williamsburg, I used to live on Mooretown Road” (about 3 miles from our house).
Tomorrow we cycle through San Luis Obispo then on to Oceano/Grover Beach for the evening.