Friday, March 31, 2017

Day 4 So Cal - Monterey to Solvang

March 2017 - Monterey CA

Weekly Recap
Day 1 Los Angeles
Day 2 LA to Monterey
Day 3 Monterey and area

The plan had been to take Highway 1 to San Simeon to Hearst Castle. We had seen on the news that a bridge had collapsed but didn't make the connection, duh!

We could have then cut over to Santa Maria to Solvang. Well, that didn't work out.

We started along Highway 1 making stops on the way.


Rancho El Sur was a 8,949-acre (36.22 km2) Mexican land grant in present day Monterey County given in 1834 by Governor José Figueroa to Juan Bautista Alvarado.[The grant extended between the Little Sur River and what is now called Cooper Point.

As we got closer. It is private property.

Juan Bautista Alvarado (1809–1882) was granted two square leagues in 1834. In 1840, Alvarado traded his Rancho El Sur to Captain John Bautista Rogers Cooper in exchange for the more accessible and readily farmed Rancho Bolsa del Potrero y Moro Cojo in the northern Salinas Valley. 

When Mexico ceded California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored, but required that the owners provide legal proof of their title. As required by the Land Act of 1851, Cooper filed a claim for Rancho El Sur with the Public Land Commission in 1852 and he received the legal land patent after year of litigation in 1866.

Cooper's daughter, Amelia, married Eusebio Joseph Molera in 1875.Their daughter Frances M. Molera (1879-1968), donated the land to the state as Andrew Molera State Park, requiring that it be named in honor of her brother Andrew M. Molera (d. 1931).

The boundaries of the 7,000 acre ranch extend north and south along either side of highway one and include approximately 267 acres of irrigated pasture. The Hill family, who have owned the El Sur Ranch since 1955, deeded 15 acres of the ranch to the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) in 1972 -- property that today makes up part of Andrew Molera State Park and is located near the mouth of the Big Sur River.

Rocky Creek Bridge is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge built in 1932. 

John playing with his camera.

We got as far as here and then had to turn back.

AND it started to rain.

So we detoured back to where we started and after several wrong turns were on our way.

You know we I couldn't go by a mission without a stop!

Across from the mission, not sure what he had to squawk about.

It is raining again as we leave the mission. And then it is sunny as we enter Cambria, where we had hopes of grabbing a very late quick lunch, which turned out to be chips and coke.

Hearst Castle is a National Historic Landmark and California Historical Landmark mansion located in San Simeon. It was designed by architect Julia Morgan, between 1919 and 1947,as a residence for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who died in 1951. In 1954 it became a California State Park. The site was opened to visitors in 1958. Since that time it has been operated as the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument where the estate, and its considerable collection of art and antiques, is open for public tours. Despite its location far from any urban center, the site attracts "millions of travelers each year".

Click here for the Cottage tour and here for the Kitchen and Wine Cellar tour.

It is now gone 5 PM so we get on the road. We usually like to be checked in by now but still have a couple of hours.

Located in the scenic Santa Ynez Valley Solvang is the Danish Capital of America.

We check into the Wine Valley Inn and head out to dinner.


  1. Very enjoyable trip here today. I've visited Hearst Castle many years ago with my parents and still have found memories of that trip. I love Highway 1 although being one who gets car sick easily it can be a bit daunting but the views are spectacular for sure.


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