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August 17th, 2013

Most of Plan A

Late last night I fired up the AAA triptik web site and found some sights along the way to Morro Bay near 101 which looked like photo ops. Printed it out and called it Plan A.

Slept real well, did not get up more than once, and was ready to leave by 10. First stop was Lowe's across the street for some Locktite, which was a little harder to find than it used to be because in the past 30 years the Locktite company has grown from just making some blue lightweight stuff for holding machine screws in place to making about a dozen different kinds of glue. Found the blue stuff, finally. Once I got to the car I dabbed some of it on the connector from the camera to the GPS, which should keep it from popping out. The blue stuff is designed to peel off when you unscrew the screw, or in this case unplug the connector.

Next stop, the mission of san juan bautista, aka John the baptist. Had a nice walk, took a lot of photos with the new lens, I think there will be some very pretty shots. 16mm is very dramatic with blue skies and random clouds.

Next stop was a bit out of the way. A place which used to be called Vision Quest Ranch but is now a part of the Monterey County zoo. The facility raises and/or trains animals for use in TV shows, movies and commercials. It was disappointing. Except for the elephants, zebras and ostrich, which they charge extra to get up close to, everything is in a cage with at least one layer of thick chain link.Horrible for photography. The tease that some of the animals are taken out for walkies during the tours was a lie. Except for a herd of about 6 African elephants, the collection was sparse, and not all the animals looked healthy. And the "trainer" tour guide kept putting her fat ass between  me and the few good shots.

On to the  Mission San Miguel Arcángel. This was a special stop for me because the ruins of the multi-bell tower are visible from the Coast Starlight, but from a bad angle and about two blocks away. Usually at high speed. So I get there, and it is this run-down mission which is still used as a church by the local brasseros, and except for huge aloe plants it is not very impressive. Slightly bummed, after I took what pix I could, I punched in the steak house in Paso Robles for my next stop. Half a block out, I pulled over and came to a halt in a cloud of dust. There was the bell tower.

They had ruined the full effect by hanging a huge plastic banner across the base declaring a mission dance or something, but at least I got some good shots of the bell part, from a better than Amtrak angle.

It was only 4:30, I wasn't hungry, and Morro Bay was only an hour away, so I killed the route to the steak house and punched in Travelodge. Hwy 41 is a terror at night, I'm glad I decided to do it during daylight.

Got to the motel, checked in, they gave me an upstairs room, which is when my left knee decided it did not want that much eight on it. I've been doing them one step at a time. The knee sleeve I bought yesterday is not helping at all, too stretchy. I may break out the Ace bandage tomorrow.

Great American Fish place for dinner, they have a huge menu, and my waiter was there asking for my order before I had opened it. The ice tea no lemon I ordered arrived in an instant, with a huge chunk of lemon. It was a good 5 minutes before the minion arrived with the water and bread basket. Three stale rolls and a generous cup of whipped butter.

I ordered the crab cakes. And waited about half an hour for them. Waiter flew by three times to assure me they were on their way.

They arrived. Overdone, but not enough to send back. But they were horrible. Lots of good shredded crab, but mixed with some kind of edible gravel. The much-praised (in the menu) special sauce was just a tablespoon's worth mostly under the two cakes. The cakes were large, the waiter was right there when I gave up on them. I guess they get that a lot.

Drove a few blocks to the Suns 'n' Buns bakery/coffee house, had one of their delicious ecliares and some pistachio ice cream.

Now I'm back at the motel. Small room, not enough power outlets, two of the three dresser drawers are stuffed with pillows and blankets even though there is plenty of room for them on the closet shelf. Wireless is okay.

Plans for tomorrow:
Motel breakfast
hang around by the waterfront
1 pm whale trip
dinner on the embarcadero

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