The 122 mile drive was easy, it was the horrible condition of most of I-5 that was bad. Rebecca drove the entire route, good thing too, Dave kept loosing his teeth from all the jarring! ! Actually a few stretches were smooth but the majority was bumpy, pot holey and rolly.
This preserve, Thousand Trails San Benito is way, way, way out in the country but easy to find. It is located about 20 miles south of Hollister off hwy 25 near Paicines. We found this preserve to be a large 200 acres loaded with wonderful shade trees, towering oaks and wispy pines. Reading the brochure we find that was once a part of Rancho Cienega de los Paicines. The Rancho was an 8,000 acre cattle ranch and was referred to as a Costanoan village Paisin of the San Benito River. The word "cienega" itself means marsh. Our first night we dozed off to the sound of owls talking to each other then when morning broke we were gently awakened by many birds greeting the sun. Ahhhh, the quietude of the country. No freeway noise. No trains, (though disappointing to Dave he understands not all like them). Also, on the preserve are deer, javelinas, the occasional bobcat and coyote. Our coach is backed up to the fence separating the preserve from the ranch, at dinner time 9 cows came strolling on their way to the other pasture near the ranch house. We have terrific views of birds and wildlife from our easy chairs.
Our second morning, while having our coffee and planning our day, Rebecca was witness to a golden eagle bathing in the cattle’s water trough. He dipped and fluttered just like the little birds you commonly see, but he was BIG. About 35 – 40 inches tall, he made the water fly!