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Friday, March 15, 2013

Where oh where, is San Juan Bautista

We arrived here yesterday after a 3 and a half hour drive from Pismo Beach.  In case you are wondering just where “here” is, we are on highway 101 just about 3 miles north of San Juan Bautista.  Now, “where is that?” you say?  About 50 miles south of San Jose.  And if you don’t know the way to San Jose, check in with Dionne Warwick and she can help you find the way….

Anyway, the weather here is in the 70s both yesterday and today.  We did some exploring and first went to Hollister, about 15 miles away.  There is not much notable we found there, except a bit of scientific trivia that I saw on a Science Channel show about how the Earth was made.  In this case, the show was talking about the San Andreas fault, an 800 mile long fault near the coast of California.

Hollister lies on the fault which sounds risky.  But scientists noticed that there are never any earthquakes in Hollister!  Why?  Take a guess……answer at the end of the post.

After Hollister, we went to the town of San Juan Bautista and the state park at the mission site.  We walked around the mission which is also right along the San Andreas fault.  Then we went and walked the main street of town.

Along the way we saw some real pretty purple and white flowers on a tree.  No idea what they are.

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If you know what those are, be sure to comment below and let us know.

We had lunch at different places!  I am not a fan of Mexican food, so I ate at a burger place and afterwards, Carol ate at a Mexican place where we could sit outdoors and see their cactus garden

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Tomorrow we head about 70 miles or so to Pleasanton to camp for three nights at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.  While there, we will go to our niece Laura’s wedding.  Then head for home.

So why no earthquakes in Hollister????  The answer is Rocks….specifically rocks with lots of talc in them.  When the plates grind at the fault, they build up stress trying to slide by each other and when that stress releases, you get a quake.  With the talc though, it acts as a lubricant allowing the plates to move gradually and keep the stress down.

As a result you can see places all over Hollister where the streets, curbs, walls, etc. have shifted if they have been there for any length of time.  We drove on several streets with a 2-3 foot shift in them.  It moves about an inch or so a year, so things can get interesting.

Another piece of trivia….in the 1906 San Francisco quake, the northern half of the fault suddenly shifted 8 feet!  No wonder it was such a large quake.

1 comment:

Donna K said...

I believe your tree is a magnolia tree, also called a tulip tree. Maybe I should use more talc to keep my lumps from shifting!! I did not know that.