Coastal Roadtrip #5: Pismo Beach to Montaña De Oro

Day 3 Wednesday: I slept in a bit -- no early workout today -- and then headed towards the Pismo Beach Pier to see the relatively-new installation of the 6'6"' high P I S M O B E A C H letters on the revamped Plaza. They light up too, but I didn't see them after dark the night before and wouldn't be staying long enough this night to catch them unfortunately. Seeing them in the day was fun, very "instagrammable" and the P has measurements on them so you can take the kids every year and see how they've grown :-) A walk on the long pier gave me a neat perspective of the surfers and beach-goers below. And I did not even have to throw any rocks at the skittish birds to get them up in the air either!


After some clam chowder (so good!) I made my way out of town, stopping briefly to take some pictures of cute homes & check out the Monarch Butterfly Grove (but it wasn't butterfly season anymore ☹️), until I got north to a destination that an old colleague recommended to me during a phone call earlier in the day. Now, here's where I admit that I misheard this person when they suggested this place on my way north. I heard him call it the "Dwarf Forest," which sounds magical and weird, and on vacations I love visiting an oddity! But when I landed at the spot and read the sign, I knew instantly where my brain went a little "left of the target." It's actually called the Elfin Forest. Elfin...elf...dwarf....  It was a gorgeous afternoon under blue skies and a nice onshore breeze, and so I ventured out on the wooden path for a short 1 mile R/T hike... still in search of "dwarf trees." 🤪 I didn't find what I imagined, but you can watch this short vid of what I did see in my IG story or the 2-minute video here.

Between the Dwarf Forest (as it shall forever be known in my head) and Morro Bay, I drove into the Montana Del Oro State Park. The trees, the water, the sand and the light look so different up here than the beaches where I live. I love being exposed to a "new" beach vibe! I wet my toes in the crashing surf, checked out the creatures in the tide pools and took photos for a lovely couple who were celebrating their 25th anniversary by sitting under the tree where they first met. ❤️ I made a mental note to invest time into long hikes here on a future trip, and headed off to Morro Bay before sunset.

Hang with me as I move into the final leg of my No-Kid Central Coast Roadtrip Tour. Check out the photos from this leg here and here, and as always, share your thoughts about them with me anytime!

Thank you for reading 🙏🏻.