Homer's Travels: PCH & Harmony

Monday, January 01, 2007

PCH & Harmony

Our Saturday Adventure ... Continued.

After visiting the Mission, the Hacienda, and wetting our collective whistles, we started our drive down the Nacimiento-Fergusson road which heads West from the San Antonio Mission to the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). We were feeling a little silly - I guess the fresh air, the brilliant blue sky, and the holy spirit was in us because we were all a little loopy. It started with the wife declaring to everyone in the car that "She was full of brown gravy." Now, this was obviously a reference to the gravy on the hot roast beef that she ate at Wilson's but everyone in the car took it completely the wrong way - which is always the fun way to take things. Our laughter was interrupted by a fork in the road - one fork took you across a river ford, the other a bridge with a sign saying Damaged bridge, no vehicle over 8 Tons allowed. I, of course, took the damaged bridge. After we crossed we realized that the bridge and the ford went to the same place so I just had to cross the ford. The water was only a couple inches deep so no big whoop but after crossing I did a 180 and we drove back through as we all said "WHEE!" Oh yes, we were special.

The Nacimiento-Fergusson road winds through the military reserve and on through a national forest. On the way we passed through areas used by the Army for training. On a flat meadow area we say several old tanks that were probably being used as targets. The "J" and I wanted to go out and climb on the tank but the wife, and the Danger Signs, said no. Sigh - Bummer! The rest of the drive to the PCH was remarkable. The drive is only 16 miles long but it takes about an hour to drive. The road twists and turns up and back down the Santa Lucia mountains. There were few places to pull off so we didn't take any pictures. I imagine the road would be even more beautiful in the spring when the wildflowers are blooming and the oak trees are all leafed out. Maybe a return trip is warranted. As we came down the Santa Lucia mountains we were rewarded with spectacular views of the pacific coast. The PCH from Monterey to San Simeon is one of the most beautiful drives in America and is highly recommended for everyone.

The road dumps you on the southern edge of Big Sur. We headed south ogling the gorgeous views. We stopped at one of the overlooks and took some pictures and scrambled on the rocky beach. Breathtaking. The pictures I took were OK but didn't capture the views. We stopped at Gorda Springs where we found a combination General Store, Resort, Filling Station, Restaurant, Post Office, and City Hall. We stocked up on water, ice cream, and salty things before hitting the road to places south. The road is very twisty-turny and the wife was threatening to hurl. The idea of brown gravy - of any type - all over the interior of my car slowed me down. Fortunately the road straightened out and all was well.

The last stop on our Saturday adventure was Harmony, CA - population 18. I have been wanting to stop here for quite a while. We pulled up at 4:50 pm and started to take pictures and explore. The pottery store was going to close at 5:00 so we hit there first. The wife bought a mug suitable for holding pencils on her desk at work. I looked at the t-shirts but they didn't have my size - drat.

The town was a dairy town. A feud between the dairy farmers in the area eventually resulted in a death. The farmers gathered together, ended their feud and decided to live in Harmony - the origin of the town's name. The dairy moved to San Luis Obispo in the 1950s and the town closed down except for the post office. In 1972 they restore the town but, once again it is in disrepair. The restaurant that was once here closed in 1997. The tiny wedding chapel closed two years ago. The only thing left is the post office and the pottery store. I have hope though since a winery has opened nearby. Maybe the town will be rebuilt once more. The "J" and I took some pictures before we lost the light.

I wandered around the small town. Looked through the old post office - It looked like it hadn't changed since it was opened in 1914. I saw the roaming gnome at the closed restaurant keeping an eye on the equally closed wedding chapel. As I was walking around I saw the doors to the out-of-order restrooms and noticed that one of the doors was marked "GEN LEMA." I pointed this out to the wife and she was confused too. We then realized the T and N were missing ... it was a very long day, you understand.
The drive home from Harmony was uneventful. I was exhausted by the time we got home. I should have let the wife drive the last two hours from San Luis Obispo. Anyway, the whole trip took 12 hours and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire day.

P.S. Happy New Year Everyone!


  1. the post office was recently closed. Harmony everywhere appears to be challenged these days.

  2. Beagle: Welcome to Homer's Travels.

    Too bad about the post office. Just a few weeks ago we were there and saw that they had reopened the chapel so I had some hope that Harmony would be restored. I really like that tiny town.