Escaping Coronavirus Cabin Fever

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

July 7, 2020

The final resting place of the tugboat, CFV Point Estero.

Suffering with coronavirus cabin fever, my wife Lorraine and I jumped in the car June 21 and headed north on Hwy 1.

It was a typical North Coast summer day — fogged-in from Morro Bay to Ragged Point.

The Elephant Seal rookery at Piedras Blancas during what is molting season.

We stopped at the Elephant Seal rookery at Piedras Blancas, one of my favorite places. The beach was sparse with seals, and those lying on the beach were bulls in the midst of their molt.

Even so, it’s always a fascinating experience at this world-class nature viewing spot. I never fail to reminisce about the days when you could walk on the beach amongst the behemoths.

At various areas along the highway, lines of parked cars give away a remote or hidden beach access. With many public beaches still closed, people were seeking out these hidden gems along the highway. The San Carpoforo beach was packed.

San Simeon State Beach was closed, the campground too, but cars and people abounded at the historic San Simeon. Hearst Castle was barely visible in the fog, but it’s closed anyway.

We lunched at Ragged Point, where I’d hoped to find some sunshine, but no.

We were disappointed that the herd of tule elk that roam the pastures south of Ragged Point were not around; nor were the zebras of San Simeon Village.

On the way home, we cruised through Cambria, which is mostly open and seemed busy but we didn’t stop.

We stopped in Harmony, which is also open for business again. We browsed the pottery and glass blower shops wearing masks. I bought a small pottery gift for my mom’s birthday next month. Lorraine got a tiny little blue bowl.

The glass blower’s shop was a true delight as the numerous items showed a varied wealth of creativity.

Then we got one-scoop cones at the Harmony Dairy ice cream wagon.

The last stop was Estero Bluffs State Park, where I needed to take a picture for an article (does this make it a work trip?).

A family was seated around an RV at one of the bluff pullouts, sipping adult beverages; groups of people were hiking the trails.

The bluffs are golden with tall, dry grass lining the well-worn paths.

Finally, we checked in on the final resting place of the tugboat, CFV Point Estero, sunk into the sand in a cove that I hereby rename, “Shipwreck’s.”

The rusty hulk signals a sad ending for a once proud, working vessel and a reminder of the dangers of a pea soup fog and the unforgiving sea.

We cruised through Cayucos, which was also busy with people, now that the pier, beach and the Vet’s Hall parking lot are open, before heading home to hunker down and hide from the virus once again.

It was a pleasant afternoon, spent in some beautiful places and good medicine for coronavirus cabin fever.

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