Local Color:
California's Central Coast

This area of California has a cooler climate than the inland valleys, more forest than Southern California, and only a few miles between mountains and ocean beaches.

We'll add a local photo or two here once in awhile.

We don't live far from the community of Moss Landing.
The Whole Enchilada:
(We have a fondness for the Sweet Tamales Corn dish at this Mexican Restaurant in Moss Landing)
The Whole Enchilada

You'll notice that we don't always have blue skies over our area. The formation of a "marine layer" gives us a natural air conditioning much of the spring and summer. Locals learn to layer clothing for trips to the beach. And if you take a blanket, prepare for the possibility of wrapping up in it to keep warm! It doesn't matter though. It's still one of the most beautiful and inspiring places in the world.
Boats at Moss Landing
These are a few of the boats at Moss Landing. This area has nearby beaches with great spots to watch surfers ride the waves. Sitting at the ocean's edge is a bit like watching a fireplace. The view is both unchanging and ever-changing.

Tiburon ROV Moss Landing is home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). They recently held an open house and Ron took this photo of the Tiburon, a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).

Freedom, Whiskey Hill and Tarpy's Roadhouse
Sometimes people smile when they hear the name of our current home town and wonder about it. Why would a place be called Freedom? In the earlier days Freedom went by another name. Back then it was "Whiskey Hill", and the gambling, free-flowing whiskey and girls-for-hire made the place a favorite hangout for bandits, brawlers, boozers and boys in the 'hood. It was thought that a more genteel name like Freedom might encourage a more genteel crowd. But old habits die hard, and Freedom continued to be more like "Whiskey Hill" for many years.

Right around the same time Freedom got its name, a fellow named Matt Tarpy was getting himself into all kinds of hot water with a group called The Pajaro Property Protective Society. Just south of here, down around Pajaro and San Juan Road, in northern Monterey County, he managed to get himself hanged after a gun battle in which a woman was killed.

Tarpy's Roadhouse

In spite of all this savagery and Tarpy's ultimate demise, his ill fate still inspired some of the best cooking on the Central Coast. Tarpy's Roadhouse on Highway 68 is one of our favorite places to go when we want to be pampered. There's a wine-tasting room on one side of it, and a wedding chapel on the other, and though its rural setting is beginning to disappear as developers encroach, it's still a nice place to take someone and share tales of the Old West that was California.

Note: For those of you looking for the Korean dish known as Bibim Bop (often spelled Bi-Bim Bap, or similarly), we have a restaurant in Watsonville that serves it. It's Imura Japanese Restaurant at 1994C Main Street. Their phone number is 831-761-8799. If you've never tried this meal, it's great fun to order if you are the type of person who loves to mix foods! It's a big ceramic HOT bowl filled with rice, sauteed veggies and sometimes meat which is then topped with a fried egg! When the bowl comes it is still sizzling hot, and you are given sauce and condiment bowls which you can mix into the rice dish. You can make it spicier by addition of the sauce(s).

lightpatch.com belongs to Ron and Deb Thompson.
photos and text ©copyright Ron and Deb Thompson
last update June 6, 2003