I consider Morro Bay
, California to be my home town. My family moved here when I was 8. We moved across the bay to Los Osos
3 years later, but since Los Osos and Morro Bay are both fairly small, they share a junior high and high school. Which means I graduated from Morro Bay High School (go Pirates). MBHS is one of the few high schools in the US that has beach access. How cool is that?
When Hamburger and I moved in together, we chose Morro Bay as our town. Since HB is a surfer, close proximity to the ocean was important. I didn’t want to stay in Los Osos, and Cayucus and Cambria, being further north, were more expensive and a bit too far away from San Luis Obispo, respectively.
Morro Bay has had a population of 10,000 for what seems like forever. The sign said 10,000 when I was 8, and a few weeks ago I noticed it had been bumped up to about 10, 450. There’s really not any room for growth. The ocean is to the west and there are hills to the east. North is hilly, then the even smaller town of Cayucus. And south is still farmland. We are exactly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, in San Luis Obispo County. Morro Bay is 12 miles from our county seat, San Luis Obispo
, home of Cal Poly State University
. The major employers in this neck of the woods are Cal Poly, Cuesta College
(a community college), Atascadero State (Mental) Hospital
, CMC (a major prison) and the county
. Really, though, it’s a lovely place to live. SLO is our biggest town, and it’s not even 50,000 people.
Morro Bay is not so affectionately called the home of the newlywed and the nearly dead. Not very nice, but true. Especially that last part. There are a lot of retired folk in these parts. In fact, we’re almost surrounded on our street. It also has out of control housing prices. When I was a kid, there were two elementary schools in town. Today, only one is open.
Morro Bay is old fishing village. At least that’s what it tells the tourists. We get lots from the valley during the summer, when they come over here to the fog to escape the heat. It really is kind of cute, especially down on the Embarcadero, if you ignore all the touristy shops and restaurants. We have a big rock (Morro Rock
). We also have a power plant with some big stacks. At 450 feet, they’re kind of hard to miss.
Umm, yeah. A few years ago I hosted Flat Stanley
. He was a great house guest (quiet, didn’t eat much), and the pictures are from his tour of the town.
This is the view from our deck. Like I said, the stacks are hard to miss. But you get used to them. The plant is supposed to close. Or be downscaled with smaller stacks. There’s a big debate about what to do. A few months ago there was an absolutely ridiculous opinion piece in the paper about how the stacks are historical and part of Morro Bay history and should be saved. Puh-lease. They’re an eyesore, and they’ve only been around since the 1950s. They used to pump out some corrosive shit, and PG&E would have to pay for paint jobs for resident’s cars.
Here Stan is in Los Osos, looking out over the bay and the Pacific Ocean. If you could see it, Morro Bay would be at the end of that sand spit.
Here’s another view from our deck, this time looking southwest and ignoring the stacks and that big rock.
And this is the entrance to the bay. The rock is behind me. Once upon a time, there was no road to the rock. Once upon a time, you could also climb the rock. Not a good idea today. It’s illegal, because there are peregrine falcons who call the top of the rock home. And they’re a protected species.
So that’s just an overview of my little town. Not a whole lot going on around here, but that’s okay. Heck, I once lived in Dufur, OR. That makes Morro Bay look like the big city.