Hiking and Bicyling in SLO

For starters here’s a short clip I took while hiking up Bishop Peak, a mountain about 1400 ft (400m). The trail begins just a five minute walk from my house (view Video):

I have two entire hours with no plan and nothing to take care of. An unusual moment in the last 18 days. The day did start off busy though. I accompanied the girls on bike (yeah) to school where they had to take an English placement test (“easy” they said). We checked out the best route and were there in about 20 minutes. Then I decided on an insurance plan for my car and finally I sat myself down in my favorite café in SLO, Linea’s.

It is great to have a bike. On my bike, like walking, I can much better get a sense for the town.

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Registration day at SLO High

The city also has a great biking infrastructure. Germany could even learn something. In most of the neighborhoods on the way to town the streets are seemingly abandoned and super wide. Hardly a car around and if one comes they drive very slowly and are terribly polite.

 

From our house, we rode down the tree-lined Jeffrey St. to Chorro St. which brought us straight into downtown. Chorro is a dedicated bike street, meaning bikes have the right-of-way and can use the street just like cars. Downtown and on many of the faster streets there are bike lanes. For the most part they are wide enough and near the intersections are painted green so cars are warned to watch out. Along many of the bike lanes there are little signs saying “no parking, bike lane”. Luckily the city decided against separated bike paths. I don’t like them because they are usually not well-maintained and are dangerous at intersections.

Continuing down the road in a t-shirt and shorts I noticed more bicycle-friendly traffic sign such as “Left turn yields to bicycles”. This sign is for cars who are turning left telling them that they have to watch for bicycles in the opposite lane and that they have the right of way.

I was sweating by the time I left the girls for their English test. We had to climb a small hill and my new road bike doesn’t have enough gears. The thing is, though, is that the temperature is perfect. It’s not too hot and not too cold and it’s not humid at all. After dropping off the girls I sat down in a charming patio at the café, I am perfectly comfortable in my summer attire.

This evening we are inviting my sisters and their family over to dinner in our fancy little house. We got so lucky with our house. We are renting a unit in the front part of a nice home in a fancy neighborhood on the south side of San Luis Obispo. We enter the house from the front. The owners have to enter through their garage. Funny. We have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a little kitchen, a living room and a dining room and, listen to this, an indoor fountain. Not to mention the fact that we have an outdoor fountain in front of our door also.chips-sm.jpg

The owners did an extension their house to build this additional guest space or rental unit and put much attention into detail. The indoor fountain is about 7 feet high and the water spews straight down along a tiled wall into a little pool. It was designed so that no water gets onto the cherry wood floors. It’s Brazilian Cherry to be more exact.

It has a vaulted ceiling and fake Roman columns built into the inner wall. Large windows open up out on to the front lawn (with fountain and two palm trees I forgot to mention). The owners also put much care into the furniture and lamps and lighting. Not only are there fancy lamps in the corners, but there is a system of ceiling lamps that let you create all kinds of different spacial experiences.

I and the girls still need to decide what to cook for my family. We have done a lot of cooking in the 18 days since we’ve been here and it’s been a joy working with them. The girls love the shopping experience. There are huge supermarkets, smaller natural food stores and their favorite is the Grocery Outlet, a huge supermarket that sells groceries that normal supermarkets throw out.

The choices of fruits and vegetables here in California is impressive. We have had cantaloupes and peaches, avocado and squash and lots of pulpy orange juice. We do need to be careful about the prices. The price variation is amazing. At one natural food store, a bottle of milk was over $4. At the next one it was only $1,50. The old saying “caveat emptor” should be taught to every grade school kid in the state.

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I will close this blog with this great message posted in front of a home in Los Osos.

2 thoughts on “Hiking and Bicyling in SLO

  1. Hello Gus, nice to see the landscape and the sea (morro bay) and all other places you filmed. Nice to read your stories and comments. Thanks!
    Can you send us some photos of the roman columns in the house (and of the rest too). Lisa sent a walk through the house to her family. But I didn´t see it, when I was with them last week-end.
    I would like you to bring the skin of a mountain lion when you come back to Germany.
    Regards to the girls
    Bye
    Wolfi

    Like

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