Sunday, April 9, 2017

Day 6 So Cal - Solvang to Bakersfield

March 2017 - Monterey CA

Weekly Recap
Day 1 Los Angeles
Day 2 LA to Monterey
Day 3 Monterey and area
Mission at Carmel
Day 4 Monterey to Solvang including Hearst Castle
Day 5 Solvang

After another great complimentary breakfast, we headed out.

I had spoken to the desk clerk when checking out and he suggested that we go to Bakersfield via Paso Robles rather than Santa Maria to avoid the semis. Gee, what a good idea, since we would "have" to go through the town of San Luis Obispo and it happens to have a mission!

We make a quick stop in Los Alamos.

In 1839, José Antonio de la Guerra, a son of José de la Guerra y Noriega received the Rancho Los Alamos Mexican land grant. The hills above Rancho Los Alamos served as a hideout for bandito, Salomon Pico, whose escapades were popularized by the character "Zorro".

The Los Alamos Valley prospered and grew quickly serving as a popular stagecoach stop from 1861–1901. The Union Hotel opened in 1880 to serve overnight travelers. The narrow-gauge Pacific Coast Railway also ran to Los Alamos from San Luis Obispo between 1882–1940. Oil was discovered at the Orcutt field in hills north of Valley in 1901, and in the Purisima Hills south of the valley at the Lompoc Oil Field in 1903, providing more economic prosperity.

The growth of the Santa Barbara County wine region, and the popularity of the acclaimed 2004 film Sideways as well as local wineries, have led to the Valley's continued prosperity.

San Luis Obispo has a mission in the centre of town. The Mission will feature in its own post at a later date.

San Luis Obispo Spanish for St. Louis, the Bishop [of Toulouse]), or SLO for short is located roughly midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the Central Coast.

Founded in 1772 by Spanish Franciscan Junípero Serra, San Luis Obispo is one of California's oldest communities. Serra's original mission was named for the 13th Century saint and bishop Louis of Toulouse.

There are cows grazing all around town.

The Mission has its own cow working diligently.

Really? Bubblegum Alley?? And it is in Wikipedia???

Bubblegum Alley is a tourist attraction in downtown San Luis Obispo, California, known for its accumulation of used bubble gum on the walls of an alley. It is a 15-foot (4.6 m) high and 70-foot (21 m) long alley lined with chewed gum left by passers-by. It covers a stretch of 20 meters in the 700 block of Higuera Street in downtown San Luis Obispo.

How long it has been there is interesting.

According to the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Business Improvement Association, the origin of the gum is "a little sketchy". Some historians believe that the tradition of the alley started after WWII as a San Luis Obispo High School graduating class event. Others believe it started in the late 1950s, as a rivalry between San Luis Obispo High School and California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) students.By the 1970s, Bubblegum Alley was well established. When shop owners complained that it was "unsanitary and disgusting", the alley underwent a full cleaning. The gum graffiti survived two full cleanings in the 1970s.

A garden shop.

Mural of the mission.


My favourite, what a surprise!

A close second.

We are taking highway 58 to Bakersfield a lovely meandering drive.

State Route 58 (SR 58) is an east-west highway across the California Coast Ranges, the southern San Joaquin Valley, the Tehachapi Mountains, which border the southern Sierra Nevada, and the Mojave Desert. It runs between its western terminus near Santa Margarita (junction U.S. Route 101) and its eastern terminus at Barstow (junction Interstate 15). It has junctions with Interstate 5 near Buttonwillow, State Route 99 in Bakersfield, State Route 202 in Tehachapi, State Route 14 in Mojave, and U.S. Route 395 at Kramer Junction. Route 58 gives good access to Edwards Air Force Base. At various points it is known as the Calf Canyon Highway, Carrisa Highway, Bakersfield-McKittrick Highway, Rosa Parks Highway, Rosedale Highway, Barstow-Bakersfield Highway, Kern County Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway, and Mojave-Barstow Highway.

WOW what a surprise to come across these guys, we backed up and parked to get photos.
Another car passed us going in the opposite direction, and also stopped and backed up. He saw our license plates and said 'bet you don't see this in Toronto" I said no, he said where are you from, I said Toronto and it turned out he grew up in Richmond Hills when it was still farm country.

We checked into the Hilton Garden Inn which was about a three minute drive to our dinner at the Crystal Palace.

Buck Owens Crystal Palace (also known as the Crystal Palace and The Palace) is a music hall  It was constructed by Buck Owens, and was opened in 1996. Primarily it is a performance venue for country western music, although other music genres have been heard there. It is also the home of the Buck Owens Museum, which contains items related to his career (some of the items are also available for viewing online).The Crystal Palace is designed in the Western Revival style, a style that resembles buildings from the 19th-century American Old West. The interior resembles an American western town from that same period. The museum is located in display cases around the first floor, which resemble the windows to the building.

Linking up with:

Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global


  1. That open road with the wild flowers looks beautiful, Jackie. :) :) Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Some views are familiar, but I had no idea they had all these cows in San Luis Obispo (we were at the ocean side there). Had to smile about your story of the man turned out also from Toronto. Isn't California beautiful? No wonder we still live here:) Many thanks for sharing your travels! Have a great traveling week:)

  3. I've passed through San Luis Obispo but never saw Bubblegum Alley. I like the murals on the electrical boxes. This sort of street art has become very popular in the Auckland area.

  4. Interesting places...such fascinating history! Love the murals and painted cows (and the monk cow!) and loved that you came on those bison too! The Buck Owens museum looks very interesting as well. Good trip!

  5. Love that ribbon of highway and the historic old places. We have/had a used gum wall near the Farmer's Market in Seattle - I visited twice and never understood why it was popular!

  6. Those cow sculptures are just wonderful!

  7. I love the colourful "moo"s :) What a happy and lively post. Cheers #TPT

  8. I didn't realise there were the big open plains. I thought it was a cost road. There you go!

  9. This is a lovely part of the world. We have done many very enjoyable road trips through this part of California. I love the cows - great juxtaposition with the buffalo.

  10. What a fun town. Kind of reminds me of Santa Cruz! Jealous that you got to see the fields filled with Wildflowers. I have never seen california like that!

  11. Looks like another cool wwstern town. I'll pass on Bubblegum Alley though! Thanks for the linkup at #wkendtravelinspiration!

  12. Wow what beautiful captures. I always look forward to reading about your travels. I can't believe there is an actual alley full of bubblegum!
    Really love the detail on those cow statues, amazing!

    Thanks for being part of #MMBC. Have a lovely weekend and hopefully see you next week x

  13. I'd forgotten all about bubblegum alley. It reminds me that I bought a second hand bedside lamp a couple of days ago and when I was turning it on and off, there right beside the switch was a big lump of bubblegum (chewed of course).


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