Brooks and I are in San Luis Obispo (SLO) county for the Spring so he can get his passport renewed. We are lucky enough to have a free place to stay in Cambria, as his family still owns his grandparents holiday home here. We arrived in SLO via AMTRAK and bus that gave us our first glimpse at the stunning coastal route, "the one," that is nothing short of how anyone might dream of California. Fortunately there is also a car at the house for us, which gives us the freedom to explore!
The house is in a suburb by the ocean. Deer roam the streets and there are the occasional vacant lots that give it a strange sense of abandonment. Walking a couple of blocks you get to the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve overlooking cliffs and the Bluff trail. I have been running this trail most days - about a mile each way. It's a pretty walk (or run) along a mixture of terraced and rough trail. There are some beautiful birds to the side of the trail and seabirds on the cliffs below, while the ground squirrels are inquisitive and barely phased by people passing by. I prefer to go when its quiet, as huddles of people and their dogs can block the path.
Although it's a little far for a casual stroll, Brooks and I have also been walking to Cambria from the house through the trees on Fiscalini ranch. The first time we did it we got lost and ended up taking the road way back in dark which felt a bit sketch with some blind turns - but think we have mastered it now.
Cambria centre is a little bizarre - especially at twilight - like a town from a 'Goosebumps' story. It is made up of two sections of toyshop-looking, clapboard houses/shops with mobile homes between these two areas. Old street lamps and fluorescent motel signs flicker creating an eery vibe. It's pretty empty at this time which enhances the effect. The weekends is a different matter though, starting with Friday's farmers markets the town fills up and feel like a buzzing holiday destination.