Day 3

8 am Open shutters to check out the day. 
Across our patio we can see the surf. Looks like another perfect day on the horizon. Such a treat to have breakfast and daily newspaper delivered to our room. Just like home – eat in pajamas, read news, watch a little early morning TV. But a morning that starts out relaxed switches to frenzied packing so that we can hit the road again. Friendly staff agrees to extend our check out a little beyond the usual time. Lovely property and very enjoyable stay. 

 183 miles  / 294 km

9 am hike through Fiscalini Ranch Preserve a 6 mile walking loop accessible from Moonstone Beach Drive
We greatly enjoy hiking through the Preserve, a Stewardship Travel Experience. The Ranch is far from the largest of coastal ecosystems, but packs more biological diversity into a confined area than many larger properties. The most outstanding natural feature is the dramatic ocean bluff that runs more than a mile along the shoreline. The rocky coast rises to a 400-foot ridge with breath-taking views of migrating whales, birds and playful otters before sloping southeastward to the willow-edged creek. The rare expanse of nature and solitude is almost a back county experience within walking distance of visitor accommodations and neighborhoods. Free, open for public enjoyment every day from dawn until dusk. Highly recommend for exercise, wildflowers, birds and views!
More info: Preserve entrances map + additional trail maps

10:30 am Cambria downtown Moonstone Beach
We have one more go at the shops and galleries. Cambria Cemetery sign post catches our eye so we take off to find it. Up above town, quite remote, we find the town’s graveyard, established 1870. Pioneer era headstones indicate early settlers were of Irish decent. Twin headstones, infant deaths, sad to contemplate – even now, without knowing the family. Contemporary graves, more personal, have additions that reflect the departed’s interests. Graves were gaily adorned with all sorts of items – birds in the trees, stone animals, sea shells, photos, shoes, handbags, and more. Lawn Bowling sign piques our interest. Games in progress and players are strategizing for a win. All having a good time. Public is welcome to join in. We are invited but decline. Can’t right now but wish we could.

noon moonstone foray Moonstone Beach
Our final try at finding moonstones on the beach just across from us. Unfortunately we are here at high tide and the surf is up. Need to be quick and run up the beach to keep from getting wet. We collect and come away with a handful of prospects. Take them to the front desk for assaying and find out we did not hit the jackpot.

1-7 pm picturesque drive up Highway 1 north
Load up, check out and start trip home to San Francisco. Blue skies that started our day are now gray and there is a mist in the air. The two-lane road, carved out of the coastal mountains, goes up and down as it sinuously curves to follow the topography. Spectacularly picturesque! Ahead, across the water, dense fog closes in and soon we are in it with visibility cut to about 10 feet max. Not much traffic but what there is slows down to 15 mph and cars carefully follow one behind the other. At Ragged Point a drenching downpour adds to the fog. Finally the fog lifts but the rain continues for many more miles. Eventually the sun breaks through, giving us a chance to stop and enjoy a scenic picnic lunch. Rest of drive uneventful.

7 pm safely home
Great trip!

Day 3 photos
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