A few weeks ago we embarked on our first trailer trip since last Summer’s journey the length of Highway 97. Shorter in time and distance than our round trip to Canada, we spent a week hanging-out on the San Luis Obispo County coast in central California. As it was the first trailer trip of the season, we took our rig to McColloch’s RV Service in Sacramento.
We like to start the season knowing that our trailer’s appliances work properly, the brakes and tires have been checked by experts, the fresh water system properly flushed and sanitized, and any minor tweaks or modifications we identified during the past season have been completed. Kerry and Nick McColloch, the father-son team that runs their business have consistently performed these tasks for us for over a decade. We’ve come to rely on them.
Camping at San Simeon State Park
It takes most of the day to tow the trailer from Sacramento to Pismo Beach. We traveled I-5 south before cutting over to 101 at Paso Robles and then heading south to Pismo. Our time on the coast, including two days in Pismo, two in Morro Bay, and three in San Simeon, allowed us to explore the area, attend a board meeting of Bay Area Travel Writers, work on a piece for Trailer Life magazine–and even relax a little.
Our first couple of days we stayed at Pismo Coast Village RV Resort, a very large, well-appointed park. Though a bit snug, it’s on the beach and practically in the middle of town–the perfect location. We took advantage by walking a couple of blocks into downtown and strolling on the boardwalk. It’s a real low-key place. We explored the dunes that run 15-miles down the coast from Pismo to Point Sal and headed for Arroyo Grande in search of lunch, ending up at Rooster Creek Tavern where we refueled with a delicious pear, arugula, pesto and Gorgonzola pizza and house salad.
Morro Bay and wine tasting at Hearst
Morro Bay still has the flavor of a working town with its namesake bay harboring a small commercial fishing fleet. This means fresh, local seafood and we recommend Tognazzini’s Dockside Restaurant as a place to try some. Though we spent a good part of our time here in meetings, we did enjoy nosing around some interesting shops and art galleries on Embarcadero. Morro Bay State Park is the best place to camp here, but RVers need reservations months in advance.
On the other hand, Hearst San Simeon State Park campground had plenty of spaces available–even for late arrivals. This was due, we learned, to a lack of facilities–no showers or flush toilets–because of the drought! With no hook-ups, this proved an inconvenience. Still, we stayed long enough to observe the elephant seal rookery just up the coast, take a walking tour and bluff-top hike in nearby Cambria and savor the cooking of several restaurants in that charming town.
An old photo of San Luis Lighthouse and fat elephant seals on the beach
We also toured a couple of beautiful lighthouses in the area, Piedras Blancas, and Pt. San Luis. The latter has been beautifully restored and furnished. Much progress has been made at Piedras Blancas, but a major and expensive project remains–reconstruction of the watch room and lantern atop the tower. Of course, a couple of nearby wineries beckoned. We enjoyed the atmosphere along with the wine at the Hearst Ranch Winery tasting room in the historic Sebastian General Store. At Stolo Family Vineyards and Winery just outside Cambria we were impressed enough with the small winery’s skill at coaxing great flavor from cool, coastal vineyards that we joined the wine club.
Things went pretty much according to plan, though we had a small hiccup when, after the move from Pismo Beach to Morro Bay, we couldn’t get our water heater to fire up. After checking the burner, igniter and circuit breakers we were stumped and faced with the unappealing prospect of no hot showers and heating water on the cook top to wash dishes. But then we called McColloch’s RV for advice and Nick bailed us out! Thanks, Nick.
Happy Travels, Janet and Stu
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