Saturday, February 28, 2015

Along The Royal Road

Highway 101 aka El Camino Real: To facilitate overland travel, Mission settlements were approximately 30 miles apart, so that they were separated by one long day's ride on horseback along the 600-mile long El Camino Real, Spanish for "the Royal Highway", (also known as the California Mission Trail). Tradition has it that the padres sprinkled mustard seeds along the trail in order to mark it with bright yellow flowers.  Wikipedia

The division between North County and South County is the steep Cuesta Grade (7% grade, 1522' elevation). The beautiful city of San Luis Obispo lies just south of the Grade. I live in North County, but I work in South County. I've only met a handful of us who make the long drive south. My co-workers and patients often comment on my commute, they live a mere 5-10 minutes away, it takes me 45-60 minutes to drive to the hospital.

South County folks look incredulous when I share that my commute isn't too bad.

I tell them about: The animals I see ~

The stunning Santa Margarita ranch lands and hills covered with old oak ~

The wildflowers just starting their bloom - orange California Poppy, yellow Mustard - soon to cover the hillsides above Shell Beach. On the drive back home, the sun sets over Avila Beach and the Pacific ocean.

I mention our beautiful homestead, the Vista, our animals - a slice of heaven that would have been unaffordable in SLO or South County. We know, we've looked.

So, maybe it's okay for South County folks to think of North County as "Hell" (smokin' hot summers, 100°+) or "A whole 'nother Country" (Yeehaw!). Maybe it's okay for South County folks to be unconvinced that North County is a great place to live. 

We'll just keep it as our own little secret.

View from the Vista, overlooking Hwy 101