Nov 102015

I’m not a big fan of California. It’s too crowded, too expensive, and just not my cup of tea. But one big exception is the Central Coast. If I had to live in California, it would be here.

The other day I told you about our visit to Morro Bay. We spent yesterday in another of our favorite Central Coast beach towns, Pismo Beach. Terry and I have been there a couple of time before but this time around we had excellent tour guides in our pals Tom and Barbara Westerfield. They have been going there since they were kids and even honeymooned in Pismo, so they know every back street, every good restaurant, and even where to find a place to park in the crowded beachfront area.

After stopping at a few RV parks to drop off sample bundles of the Gypsy Journal, we spent some time at the Pismo State Beach Butterfly Grove. For over 709 years the grove has been the fall and winter home to tens of thousands of Monarch butterflies that migrate here every year from as far away as Canada.

When they cluster on the tree branches in the grove the butterflies are hard to see with the naked eye. At first glance all you think you are seeing are brown clumps of dead leaves. But look closer. Those “leaves” are actually hundreds of butterflies!

Butterfly clump small

Butterfly clump 2 small

Butterfly clump 3 small

And when they spread their wings the colors are amazing!

Showing color small

We spent an hour or so at the Butterfly Grove, until it started to rain and we decided to move on. We stopped at another RV park or two to drop off papers and Tom and Barb showed us some more interesting places most tourists miss. By then it was time for a late lunch or an early dinner, or linner as fulltime RVers call it.

One of their favorite places in Pismo Beach was Splash Cafe, a block or two from the pier. The place is decorated in surfer chic, with beach-themed murals on the outside and pictures of local surfers on the inside.


Barbara recommended the chowder bread bowl with crab and shrimp on top, but unfortunately it had onions in it, which I’m very allergic to. So I went with fish and chips, which were good, but Terry said the chowder was outstanding, and she preferred it to any she ate on the Oregon coast last summer.

Chowder bowl

The brief storm had passed, but I had gotten soaking wet dropping off papers in the rain and felt chilled to the bone. Before we left town we stopped at the beach long enough to take a picture of the pier and the way the clouds and light played on the water.

Pismo Pier small

Terry also got a photo of Tom, Barbara, and me before we retreated to the warmth of their Jeep.

Tom Nick Barb small

Today is our last day here at the Atascadero Elks lodge campground and I think we’ll hang out here at home. Maybe I’ll get those LED lights put up after all.

Thought For The Day – The words that soak into your ears are whispered, not yelled.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  One Response to “Butterflies On The Beach”

  1. We have visited Pismo Beach many times. Splash Café has the best clam chowder ever.

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