San Luis Obispo

Strolling through downtown SLO I came across a tourist highlight, Bubblegum Alley. Wiki says this use of the alley was recognized either after WWII or in the 1950s but at least by the 1970s it was a well-established Happening Thing.


I was hoping to get into the Mission in SLO since I can’t remember ever having been in before but today was not to be the day. They are still doing mass out here in the garden. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded by Spanish Franciscan Father Junipero Serra in 1772, fifth of what was to become 21 missions on the El Camino Real, running along the California coast from San Diego to San Francisco. A little perversely maybe considering my feelings about religion…I seek out these missions just like when traveling I always want to find the cathedrals. Long story I suppose, but I Think I do know why. I’m going to make a list!

They’ve got a pretty big college here, the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, established in 1901, a golden oldie with 22,000 students enrolled. SLO, with a city population of around 50,000, does the 50k include the 22k? I don’t know, but in either case the population skews very young. This is evident by the downtown commercial properties being predominantly bars, restaurants, and clothes for college-age souls.

There was a month-long Let’s Have Flowers event which was fun.
There’s a creek down there and it creates a lovely place to walk and find some shade in the summer.
The creek runs down there too, between the bushes and the stone wall, you can’t see it, and the mission is there behind the plaza. I sat out here and enjoyed my book and a glass of surprisingly good College Bar wine.
The setting here in SLO is really quite pretty so if you’re ever rolling along the 101 you might consider a stop. And the Madonna Inn is just down the road…
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