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USA - NY to LA - 2001

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo in Carmel (built 1770).

One of 21 Spanish missions built between 1769 and 1823 each about one day's ride
from the next. San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Barbara, etc. all started out as
missions. The Spanish king had sent out an expedition to claim the land for Spain.
Father Junipero Serra (a theology professor) was sent to establish the missions
as proof of ownership and to Christianize the natives. Father Serra liked this mission
best and chose it as his home. He died here 1784 at age 71.

Driving south we were overtaken by darkness halfway down Highway 1 and discovered that the few motels were full. We finally found this one in Big Sur - The Fernwood motel, bar, grocery store and camping grounds. That's Virginia on the left and our motel room behind her. Our only really bad luck when it came to Motels. We were looking forward to showers here but the water in all faucets was boiling hot. We didn't even dare brush out teeth - let alone shower.

We complained and the wife of the boss showed up after a while and emptied the cold water tank. A faulty valve was the cause. It had been "acting up lately" as she put it. The next morning there was no electricity due to a fire during the night a ways down the road at the main generator. No water (no pump), no coffee, no lights! After a while they got the bar's emergency generator going so we did get some coffee.

The other gentleman in the picture got some coffee too. He has slept in the woods apparently. This area used to be full of hippies living in the woods. He may be the last of them but there are modern camping grounds for tourists all over.

As soon as we drove away we discovered that just down the road is a state park with well over 100 very nice cabins and plenty of vacancies.

There were lots of blue jays in the area. Long time since I saw one of those.

At Pfieffer Big Sur State Park we found some giant redwoods to admire as well as lots of cabins.

Looking up

And we drove down a very small and very winding road to a little State Park called Andrew Molera - i think. The only road down to the beach in the whole area. This was the entrance to the beach.
© Ann Thulin © Lars Thulin,
© Per Thulin, © Ingrid Hansson
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