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Friday, August 11, 2017

Wallowing in the Mud - Fun Times in Atascadero, California


Atascadero is a Spanish word that basically means "mired in the mud." Why they chose this name for a charming little Central Coast town is beyond me...we saw no mud bogs at all.



Anyway, we're out and about to see what we can find. Not wanting to spend any unnecessary time at our hotel, we come downtown where my wife...the knitter...can visit not one but TWO yarn shops within a block of each other.  The thing is one opens at 10 and the other at 11 and it's 9:30.


Watch the Video!



We'll do some urban exploring in the meantime.

Smack in the middle of town is a big, domed, brick building. It looks lovingly maintained (it is) and is the century-old City Hall. We take some pictures and send Tim up the adjacent wheelchair ramp as part of our video shoot.



I notice some great looking old light fixtures through the door so we go in to take some pictures. In the lobby, we find there is a little historical museum with exhibits on the city's and building's past.

Before houses were erected, magazine publisher E. G. Lewis founded the town as a planned, Utopian society. Tents were erected before house were built and this area became known at "Tent City." A recreation of one of those tents is in a room off of the foyer.

In late 2003, a 6.5 earthquake struck the area and caused much damage to many of the buildings here and in nearby Paso Robles.  Another exhibit in another room displays some of the pieces of the building knocked loose and photos of the devastation.

A renovation project was launched after the quake close the building and it reopened better than new in 2013.  Inside, the main public counter sits under a beautiful dome.  You can conduct city business here, pick up some brochures, and even buy souvenir t-shirts.

Across the street is a park, known as the Sunken Gardens, with a fountain and some statuary.  The knitting shops should be open so we make our way over to the old Carlton Hotel and the first knitting shop next door.



Tim and I poke around the other shops as Letty peruses the yarn.  We don't find much that interests us.

After that, we head around the corner to shop number two, which is closed today.  We'll have to come back tomorrow for that.

Fast forward to the afternoon and we're back at the Sunken Gardens.  It's time for the weekly farmer's market taking place along the sidewalk in the southern edge of the park.



There's some great local produce, along with some breads and a rancher taking orders for his beef.  I grab a few pieces of fruit for a snack later back at the hotel.

It's dinner time now so we head across the street to Sylvester's, a small local burger chain.

Cooler now that it was earlier, we take the opportunity to sit on the corner deck and have our food and drink.



Letty has a mushroom burger with a glass of local wine...


...while I have the Central Coast favorite, a tri-tip sandwich with a cold glass of 805 beer to wash it down with.



Tim goes with a basic bacon cheeseburger and fries.

It is all very delicious and filling. I could not quite finish my sandwich.

Sated and relaxed, we head back to the hotel to rest up for tomorrow.

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Darryl Musick
Copyright 2017 - All Rights Reserved

Photos by Letty Musick
Copyright 2017 - All Rights Reserved

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