Cayucos California Visit Cut Short
Tuesday 27 October 2015 — Category: Outings
Cayucos, on the California Central Coast, for a mini family reunion to celebrate the 60th wedding anniversary of my aunt and uncle. My cousins and their kids and grandkids, as well as ourselves, would be coming from four western states.
Because of my new-found passion for cooking, I spent the few days before we left packing my Toyota Tacoma with food, water, two cases of Oregon beer to share with those not fortunate enough to live near Beervana, a camping stove, a small barbecue, and two big boxes of cooking equipment from my kitchen! Like a good boy scout, I was more than prepared for any eventuality.
I even made four jars of special sauces to take and share with the relatives. Click on the following links to download a PDF copy of each recipe. From left to right, I made: Vegetarian Marinara Reduction, Sour Pickle Rémoulade, Spicy Whole-Grain Honey Pub Mustard, and Bavarian Biergarten Obatzda.
Before 5:00 AM on Sunday 11 October I set off in my heavily-laden truck to traverse the mountain ranges between Eugene and Redding ... and beyond to Cayucos. My wife and two daughters drove separately in my older daughter’s car. Thirteen to fourteen hours later, we all arrived safely at my parents’ house in Santa Maria.
pork chops (seasoned with Weber Steak 'n' Chop seasoning) at high heat in a cast-iron skillet, served with baked polenta, and zucchini stir-fried with Weber N’Orleans Cajun seasoning. I set out a bowl of the above-mentioned Sour Pickle Rémoulade to top the pork chops. It all turned out pretty good, except that the meat, although not overcooked, was a bit tough. I guess not every pig is tender!
After the kitchen was all cleaned up, we headed north on the one-hour drive to Cayucos. The following evening was pasta night for dinner, at which I had the opportunity to share my Vegetarian Marinara Reduction. After dinner I went for a walk along the beach in the dark with my older daughter. Even though we had a hard time finding our way back to the right house, it was a great walk. I have not seen the Milky Way so clearly in a long, long time.
Because my socks and shoes were very sandy after the walk, I left them outside and went back into the house barefoot. That was my fatal mistake! Later, as I was rushing through the dining area, I slammed my right foot really hard into the leg of a bench, with most of the impact hitting the second-to-smallest toe. The next morning my foot was so painful and swollen that I went to the Urgent Care in Morro Bay.
Up until my accident I was doing pretty well, being more social than usual, and generally having a good time. But for me, being social takes a lot of emotional energy. Injuring my foot was like pulling the plug, and all of my emotional energy quickly drained away. In addition, all of my plans to go on photos outings in the area, and to give some cooking lessons to my family, were ruined.
Suddenly, I just didn’t want to be there any more. My one overriding thought was to go back home in Oregon. It absolutely was not going to work for me to sit all day long with my foot propped up, bored to tears, in a hot hotel room (there was a heat wave that week, and no air conditioning). And I’m definitely not the type of person who simply wants to sit on the beach all day, nor to sit around and socialize all day. I need to keep active and busy.
Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill in Cambria, where I had awesome clam chowder, and an excellent flat iron steak with a wonderful sauce.
On Thursday I made the grueling fourteen-hour drive north, which stressed my already-injured foot. Along the hundreds and hundreds of miles of Interstate 5, I had too much time to lament all of my plans which had come to nothing. Every time my four-cylinder Tacoma struggled up a steep grade because of all the unused food and kitchen equipment in the back, I felt so sad that I had hauled all of that down to California, and now was hauling it all back to Oregon.
For the short time I was in Cayucos, none of my relatives seemed very interested in trying the four types of Oregon beers I had brought. Two of them recently won a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Colorado: Lompoc Brewery’s Proletariat Red Ale and Rogue Brewery’s Hazelnut Brown Ale. In addition, I brought a generous supply of Ninkasi Brewery’s Oktoberfest Lager and Widmer Brothers’ famous Hefeweizen. Well, their loss is my gain — these beers definitely will not sit around neglected and gathering dust!
I was also disappointed that I didn’t get the opportunity to share all of the special sauces I had made. Nor did I give the pretzel-making lessons I had planned. Nevertheless, it just wouldn’t have worked for me to stay. In the end, all I had was broken expectations, a possibly-broken toe, and lots of bummed-out relatives.
Over the years I have written 18 articles about my California photo outings and shared over 700 pictures in 25 California photo albums. Some of those past outings were in the Cayucos area, like San Simeon to the north, and Morro Bay and Montaña de Oro to the south. I had been hoping to revisit some of these locations, as well as some others I had never photographed before, but apparently it just wasn’t meant to be.
Out of the small number of pictures I took on this trip, I’ve gathered the best 21 into the new Cayucos 2015 album.
Unfortunately, I’m not yet fit enough to recommence my daily two-kilometer neighborhood walk, and time has run out. According to a recent newspaper article, the rain switch is about to be flipped on — Oregon’s infamous nine-month rainy season is about to begin.
As the sun sets on the season of good weather for Oregon outings, I can at least enjoy the memories of my short visit to the beach in Cayucos. And work on my backlog of photos and articles I want to post from all my outings to Portland these past few months.