Where in the world is Cayucos? When my son, Evan, invited me to spend a week at the beach in Cayucos, California, I only asked when. The where didn’t matter. It turns out Cayucos is a census-designated place located mid coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California Coastal Route 1. Cayucos is nestled in San Luis Obispo County south of Monterey and San Simeon, the site of Hearst castle, and north of Morro Bay. Little has changed since my daughter-in-law Ali’s family started coming here 40 years ago.
Historically, the central coast was home to Chumash and Salinan Native Americans. The first Spanish ships passed this area in 1542. As the Spanish galleons continued to traverse the area chances are the Morro Rock, created by volcanic activity, and Cayucos shoreline provided a landmark guiding the ships south to Mexico. The Spaniards first made a landing in 1769 as part of the Gaspar de Portola expedition. Agriculture was the primary economy. Captain James Cass founded the town of Cayucos, derived from Native American names for “canoe” or “kayak”, in 1867. The pier, which exists today, was first photographed in 1878.
The surf – in a word, relentless. A source of recreation and meditation, it is constant yet ever changing. The waves suit the surfers most days. Whales and dolphins make their daily feeding treks within view. And when the moon rises, the surf is my lullaby.
|Sunset at Cayucos