My Time in San Luis Obispo

I was so busy in SLO (San Luis Obispo), that I didn’t get much time to Blog. So I took lots of pictures and thought I would sorta just do a visual montage. These are some of the adventures I had there.

Me and The Cousins in Pismo Beach
Famous Madona Inn with Friends
Thursday Night Farmer's Market (EVENT)
Leaving the Hostel for a Day of Exploring (or a date)
Rigging the New Fixtures That JUST DONT SEEM TO FIT
Exploring SLO on BikeRugby Match Staring My Bar Friends
A Day of Painting in Morro Bay
SLO Exploring

Montana de Oro State Park, Osos, California

There was a guest from Quebec, an 18 year old who just graduated from high school and is traveling the entire west coast on his own (so right away he was a kindred spirit), we had gone on a Taco Tuesday taco run and were talking about what sites we enjoyed.

Once we came back to the Hostel with all our goodies a bunch of us were talking about a man I had met a man who found a bunch of raw jade in Montana de Oro that had come down from Big Sur.

So Nicolas (my new-found friend) said, “Well, when does it get dark?” I responded, “When the sun goes down.” He said, “Fine I’ll go look outside.” I shrugged and laughed. When he came back in a minute later, he said, “Okay there is plenty of time. Go get ready, we are going to Montana de Oro.” I sat for a minute, shocked, and then ran up to get ready. I quickly located overalls, Uggs and a sweatshirt. What a drive! Overhanging California Oak the whole way that suddenly opens up to the ocean. So AMAZING. And not on the every day “tourist” visit. We were there for hours. Well into dark. Moss on everything, smooth rocks with stripes, caves with water rushing in and out again, and drift wood. I was so at peace on one hand and excited on the other. This is a great website to tell about it, but it really has to be EXPERIENCED to get the fullness of it.

I’m going to post some pictures, but be prepared there is no picture we took that does this place justice.

Montana de Oro, California

Volunteering at Little Theatre in San Luis Obispo, CA

When I first came to San Luis Obispo I had only planned on staying for about five weeks. Five weeks turned into almost three months. By far the funnest thing I’ve done while I was here is working at The Little Theater. A community theater in the heart of downtown.

I emailed Jessi, the volunteer coordinator, and met with her a day or so later at the theater to talk about what they needed in way of a volunteer.

A few days later I got an email saying that they needed some painting and building. I was excited. I showed up the next morning and have made the theater my home for the last 6 weeks or so. LOVE IT!!!!

The play was the Fantasticks. I worked on the two large trees, the Fantastic sign, and spent one very late night painting the floor. My boss, mentor and new friend, Dave, was so much fun to be around. As were the cast and crew. I have laughed and been myself and learned so much. YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH….

"Stacy's" tree
Set Building for Fantasticks

Opening night some from the show stayed after and were treated to story time from one of the actors, Larry Kaml, who worked at Disneyland on the Jungle Cruise for 11 years. Great stories!

On closing night I stayed in the Green Room during the performance so I could hang out with everyone when they weren’t on stage. It was a bittersweet night. After that performance we did what they call Strike. The cast and crew tear down the set. I was a bit sad for sure.

Closing Night.
Strike for Fantasticks

Before doing the set work for the next play, Leading Ladies, I helped with WOW (Week of Welcome) . This is a program at Cal Poly for their incoming freshman class. They work under upper classmen in the community as volunteers. Four groups of 15 working at two-hour intervals. The kids were great. We painted and cleaned and laughed.

Cal Poly Kids for WOW Volunteer Day
Cal Poly WOW Work Day

Between productions they do one night Reader’s Theater plays.  This one was called Side Man and was so poignant. Its about the downside of jazz in the 50s thru the mid 80s. The actors sit on stools and read the play. Great fun.

Reader's Theater

And I love the director, John Battalino. He has such a great gentle spirit. The above pictures were of that night. The cast party was last night. I can not express how much fun I had!!! And here are those pictures.


Started this past weekend doing the next set. Leading Ladies. This time I am using power tools!!!!!!!!!! Go me. I only have a few more days in SLO. Great way to end a fun time on my journey…

Set Building for Leading Ladies

Hostel Obispo my new WWooFing property….AWESOME

I have been in San Luis Obispo for several weeks. It is a special place. I can see why the students of Cal Poly want to stay when they graduate.

I arrived on Greyhound from Santa Barbara at 11:00 am. A nice smooth ride with only two very short stops. Once here it was a really short walk to the Hostel. Thank goodness cause, as I found out at the SB station, my two pieces of luggage weighed 49.5 and 56.2 lbs. I am supposed to be lightening my load, but seem to be getting more. I will change that while in SLO aka San Luis Obispo.

Once at the Hostel all the staff were waiting for me and we headed off to my welcoming luncheon. We walked with the Hostel dog in hot pursuit. About four blocks later we were at the Bistro, Buona Tavola: Delicious. Northern Italian Cuisine. Most all had the specials. And we shared a wonderful bottle of red wine. It was such a cool way to get to know one another. We sat outside in the courtyard laughing and eating. There are pictures, but they are currently on a camera in Portland, Oregon. I will post them when they come back south.

I didn’t start working for a couple of days to give me a chance to acclimate. Nice.

There are three general shifts here:

The breakfast shift: Homemade sourdough pancakes made fresh daily with organic free-trade coffee. This shift includes starting the loads of sheets from the previous nites guests and taking any incoming calls.

The cleaning shift (this is the one everyone starts off on for the first couple of weeks): All beds remade with clean sheets. The wash hung….I had never hung the was on clothes lines before that first shift here – getting back to basics and all. Bathrooms cleaned and floors swept. Of course being the anal retentive person that I am I also have spent much time cleaning the corners and oiling the furniture.

The Hostel is closed btwn 11 and 4:30 so after the cleaning shift everyone is about their own business of other jobs or play.

At 4:30 the Hostel reopens and that shift consists of getting the sheets off the line and folding them. Checking in guests and making sure everything runs smoothly during check-in time.

Here are a few pictures of the Hostel…

There is so much to do in SLO. There are several beaches all within 15 miles of the Hostel. Avila, Shell Beach and Pismo are for laying out and surfing. Morro Bay and Montana de Oro are more majestic and full of nature. So far my favorite central coast place has been Montana de Oro. I have always loved Big Sur more than any place I’ve traveled. BUT Montana de Oro may have replaced it if not tied with it. I will write about it in my next post.

On the other side of SLO are the foothills. Lots of easy and moderate hiking. These peaks are called the Nine Sisters of San Luis Obispo County.

One of the hikes is called Cerro San Luis Peak. It has a concrete “M” on it, sorta like the HOLLYWOOD sign, and people hike to the top of the top of the letter and sit or take photos. They can see hawks and such flying below them. It is a very SLO thing to do. I have not done this, because of my very weak ankle (but I have played volleyball in a vineyard, so maybe it is just an excuse, hmmm, maybe I will analyze that later or maybe not).

Of course there is plenty to do in San Luis Obispo…

The town was built around a creek that runs through it. There are bars, novelty shops and restaurants that run along the river. Children go onto the rocks and play in the flowing river while their parents watch or join in. There are many people who go there to read or to do homework. It is a fun and serene place to hang out with many benches and rocks to sit or lay on.

There are concerts, much like Knoxville’s Sundown in the City, every Friday nite at the creek. Also every Thursday there is an evening Farmer’s Market downtown. This is NOT your usual Farmer’s Market, but a party/festival. It goes from 6pm till 9pm and fresh farm food purchasing is just one of the activities. There is music, all kinds of food vendors, and all the townies out for an evening of meet and greet.

I have been riding one of the Hostel’s bikes around town quite a bit. One of my co-WWOOFers has taken me on several exploring rides. Here are a few of those pictures (oh and I’m volunteering  painting sets while I’m here at the Community Theatre that is in this collage)…

Well that is about it for tonite.

My next post I will show pictures of Montana de Oro State park and several of the beaches around SLO…