The drive up the coast from Cayucos to Big Sur was foggy in places so we couldn't see the drop from the edge of the road to the ocean... a good thing. At least we could see the yellow line between lanes.
However the sun was out at Big Sur. The recent fire had burned down to the edge of the road on both sides, but it is still a beautiful place with some huge redwoods. Many of the trails are closed while they evaluate and clean up after the fire. The rangers sent us down to Andrew Molero State Park to walk the trail to the ocean, which is still open.
The beach is full of rocks being polished by the waves. As the waves recede, the rumble of the rocks sounds like an audience applauding. We made a couple of announcements about our hopes for the upcoming Presidential election and waited for the applause, which came on cue.
After our 2-mile walk, we were hungry for lunch, so we consulted with Henry to see if he'd join us. We needed to find a restaurant that would welcome mice. As we approached the River Inn Restaurant, we noted that the sign read "Country Food." That sounded hopeful.
Turns out it they had excellent food. Dave had an Angus burger on a delicious ciabatta bun with sweet potato fries on the side. I had a carrot ginger soup that was absolutely the best balance of those flavors I've ever tasted. We were too full to try their famous apple pie (made there since the 1930s). Later we were sorry we hadn't tried it. Oh well, next time we'll eat fewer fries so we can try the pie.
After lunch we went for a walk in the redwood part of the forest. Henry came along thinking maybe he would find Rosemary. We tried not to dash his hopes but we didn't think there was much chance that she'd show up.
Okay, what do I know about the ability of Starlight mice to communicate over long distances. This was a very exciting moment for both Henry and Rosemary!
As Rosemary shared the stories of her adventures with Henry, we could see that he was meant to stay in the forest with her. So we said goodbye to them and headed back down Highway 1 with an empty glove compartment, but the sun was out and we were happy to know that we'd done our part to help re-populate the forest.
I am no stranger to the reproductive power of mice... ever since my purchase of two pregnant mice back when Michelann and Shaun were young. That experience turned into a marvelous lesson in exponential mathematics. Within months our laundry room was filled with aquariums containing baby, adolescent, and adult mice. No matter how hard we tried, we couldn't get the boy babies separated from the girl babies fast enough to prevent new litters of happy healthy baby mice. Eventually we found homes for all of them in the wild hills of the San Marcos Pass.
So I was not terribly surprised when I arrived back at the condo and opened the freezer the next morning to get some challah for breakfast.
Looks like we'd brought along a pregnant challah mouse without realizing it. I expect more Starlight mouse adventures lie ahead.