Cosa Grande {Hearst Castle} and Elephant Seals?

Trip Start Jun 19, 2013
Trip End Aug 15, 2013

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, July 13, 2013

The drive yesterday out of Los Angeles was not a vacation drive as the fellow drivers were focused on moving as fast as they could on I-101 no matter the speed limit, curves, grades, dead cars or critters on the road.  There were a few who had no time for a vehicle or driver that  could not keep up the pace and they let you know it by audible means or gesture.  Hey California road warriors...chill out...I was only going 3 to 5 mph under the speed limit and that was mostly climbing the hills. Well I guess there were a lot of hills...and most were pretty long...oh well.  That section of road is one I do not care to repeat and that is the first time I can say that while on this trip. (rant finished)  I look forward to slowing down and enjoying the next part of this trip.  The temperature is very comfortable so we should be able to travel a greater period of the day.

Today our destination was the Hearst Castle located on the coast about half way between San Luis Obispo and Monterey.  The morning drive was very brisk and at times damp.  We stopped to view the ocean before entering the Hearst complex.  Jean's pumped...she really wanted to see this.  Many years ago we were in the Hearst parking lot, it was late in the day and we were all tired (our sons were with us) Jean was feeling car sick after the days drive ... so we skipped the tour.


William Randolph Hearst's father, George Hearst, made his money in the mining industry.  George made remarkable finds of silver ore.  {Comstock Lode}  George purchased the land surrounding the Castle soon after he became successful in the mining business.  At about the same time, he married a nineteen year old school teacher Phoebe Apperson Hearst. William was the only child of George and Phoebe and had a very privileged childhood. William spent 18 months in Europe with his mother visiting all the culturally significant areas.  This experience contributed to his lifelong passion of travel and collecting great works of art.  William started construction of the Castle in 1919, shortly after the death of his father, when he was in his mid fifties. The construction continued for nearly 30 years with brief breaks in construction during the depression and World War II.  With each phase of construction or expansion, gathered art and purchased architectural components from Europe were incorporated into the design.  I usually do not take many pictures but found myself taking almost 150 of the details of the home...I just scratched the surface and there is to much to are some of the photos.

After leaving the Hearst property, we drove north 4 miles to catch a view of Elephant Seals. The males are in the molting process that takes about 2 months.  During this time the males gather on the beach sunning themselves only entering the water to cool off.  They do not eat during the time of the molting and often loose hundreds of pounds over this period of time. 

So far we have traveled 4,676 miles and I think we have probably reached our half way point as far as distance to travel.  We will reach Eugene, Oregon by the end of this week and after spending a few days with Dan and Lysse we will decide our path based on what we want to see.  It's going to get pretty spur of the moment...I think...if Jean can be comfortable with that.  She's a planner and usually wants to know there is a motel room available at the end of the day. We'll see how it goes...I can change...if I have to.... {Sound familiar Red Green fans?)
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