Morro Rock, a State Historic Landmark, was formed about 23 million years ago from the plugs of long-extinct volcanoes. Morro Rock was an important navigational aid for mariners for over 300 because the rock is approximately 576 feet tall which made it the most visible in a chain of 9 peaks.

This past week my husband and I took a one-week vacation to Avila Beach and Morro Bay to camp.  I have camped all my life and thoroughly enjoy the unforgettable people I have met and the destinations I have traveled to. I’ve always enjoyed talking to those in the campground to learn where they are traveling from and traveling to.  On this trip we spent quite a bit of time with a family from Austria, as well as a woman who was traveling from Canada.

We rode bicycles from the campground to Morro Bay.  We stopped a few times along the way to watch the sea lions, fishing boats and kayakers. After parking our bikes, we walked along the shops and listened to a band play on the dock.

On this trip I was looking forward to visiting the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce. I googled the address and my husband, Gary, and I took a scenic drive through Morro Bay to our destination. Unfortunately, we never found the Chamber of Commerce.  The public library shared the same parking lot as the chamber.  Not seeing a chamber building, I entered the library and spoke to the librarian who said there was currently not a brick-and-mortar chamber office.

Disappointed, yet understanding, we departed Morro Bay for Arroyo Grande.  Arroyo Grande is a quaint town, founded in 1897, with cute boutique shops, breweries, and restaurants.  It is also home to a Swinging Bridge which is 171 feet long and swings 40 feet above the Arroyo Grand Creek. This swinging bridge is the only one of its kind in California.  First built in 1875 by Newton Short, the bridge connected his property that was divided by the creek. We sat along side the creek and watched people crossing the bridge, roosters chasing one another and beautiful birds flying from tree to tree. 

As we left Arroyo Grande and traveled to Avila Beach, we both looked forward to arriving at Big Al’s at the Beach.  Big Al’s is a favorite destination of ours.  There is always a line, but well worth the wait for the best shaved ice in town.  I ordered my favorite, a root beer shaved ice with vanilla ice cream and Gary had his ‘go to’ cherry. After walking through stores and on the boardwalk, we headed for the campground.

As I reflect on this vacation, I am thankful that the experience and the tradition of camping has been passed on through the generations of our family.  Camping allows  the opportunity to explore nature, develop life skills and most of all make memories that will last a lifetime.

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