San Luis Obisbo
The afternoon sun warms me as I leave the highway finding a small older two story hotel at the entrance to downtown San Louis Obisbo. This is quaint little place. It is relaxing walking the streets. Many of the buildings are older some rundown yet I am more comfortable even than being on the scenic highway. I must be tired or acutely aware that another long day of walking has come to an end.
Back in the late 1700’s when the northeast was the booming center of the new country of the United States of America intrepid Spanish priests, adventurers, native Americans, Mexican nationals and families of all descriptions were already living in this romantic part of California. Just nine miles from the mighty Pacific Ocean the town is one of the oldest in the west. The great walker and intrepid founder of many California missions, Father Junipero Serro, founded other Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa in 1772. it was the fifth mission in the California chain of 21 missions each within a good walking distance of each other. The mission was named after Saint Louis, a 13th Century Bishop of Toulouse, France. In Spanish San Luis Obispo is translated “St. Louis, the Bishop” the town was finally incorporated as a city in the mid 1850’s.
It is such a wonderful refreshing feeling after a long time on the road when you have an opportunity for a good bath. Feeling like a new person now with only a little pail in my toes I head back into town in search of a restaurant. Next to a deep gully I am sitting on a small patio surrounded by engineering students from Cal Poly University. They seem so bright. Fortunately none interrupt their meal by lurking over lap top computers. This are refined students. It is fun to eavesdrop as the decide how to get the best deal for their meal and how they plan to split the bill. Their thoroughness makes me glad a bit that I too am an engineer
I take side rote through the beach park at Morrow Bay. Families in campers churn up dust as I search for the famous rock which lingers just off the shore. I get lost again. Fortunately bicyclists get me on the right path. I think this would be a pleasant place to camp sometime in the future but know I may not be back.