Guests and staff at the Bridge Street Inn Conserve Water

“Effective March 1, 2014 the CCSD is implementing the following mandatory conservation measures.  From January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013 your average water use was 31 units.  Your allotment is 80% of your average monthly water usage.  This amount is 25 units. A five hundred percent surcharge (first violation) shall apply to all water use in excess of customer unit allotment.”

The Bridge Street Inn staff and guests are doing what we can to make Cambria once again a less thirsty, spotlessly clean car driving, and manicured rose colored yard TOWN.  The photo blog documents what the BSI implemented in Jan and Feb 2014 to conserve water.  The last two blogs document what the BSI implemented before 2014 to conserve water.

drought baby

Unlike the above child we created this water situation. I hope my offspring won’t become a waterless dehydrated model.  These fliers are posted in the bathrooms and kitchen.

shower water catchment

Collect the cold water.

kitchen sink

Biodegradable soap allows us to use dish water on the draught tolerant landscape.

water storage

We store the kitchen sink water and cold water from the shower in these containers.

low flow shower head

Low flow shower head.

trash cans

By any means necessary when it come to collecting rain water.

small towels

No longer use the large type of bath towels shown in the photo. Small towels use less water to wash.

Happy Guests, Dirty Sheets, and Greywater grow delicious Apples at The Bridge Street Inn

Intern Amanda turns home grown apples into delicious apple sauce

At the Bridge Street Inn guest, Fransico De Lovely, longly eyes the apple in his hand.  “These homegrown apples are crisp like your line dried sheets.  Every bite I take makes me pat my belly in joy.  My belly has loved the company of many an apple raised on worm castings, garden compost, the shit from a goat, warm sun rays, and the most pure spring waters.  Never have I tasted an apple quite as delicious as the one I hold in my hand.

I reply, “There are 3 elements missing from the above apple growing ingredients.  They are happy guests,  dirty sheets, and  greywater.

Happy Guest

Clean sheets need a happy guest

The wash machine produces greywater from the dirty sheets.

After a happy guest checks out of The Bridge Street Inn by 10:30AM I strip their bed then put the sheets into the wash machine.  When the sheets have gone through the wash cycle the biodegradable soap and dirty water exit.

The greywater flows through pipes that lead to the underground root system of the apple tree.  The now damp clean sheets are line dried and the process starts over again.”

The simple pleasure of folding crisp line dried linens

Fransico De Lovely looks at his clean toe nails and strokes his well trimmed mustache he sighs, “I notice several beds are unoccupied.  Sadly, I’m only dirty enough to dirty one bed per night.  What’s going to happen to her?”  As he points towards the apple tree.

Apple tree growing in the greywater garden

“Friend, cheer up!”  I say,  “The apple tree loves the frosty nights and warm sandal wearing days.  Life at The Bridge Street Inn has a healthy ebb and flow that coincides with the seasons.  As the tourist season slows into the colder months the winter rains replace the greywater system.  Our apple tree has found a balance between what nature and happy guests can provide.”

Happy guests + dirty sheets + greywater + nature = delicious healthy apples

What Guests wash their Hands with Toilet Water?

Aimee Wyatt explains the Bridge Street Inn’s approaches to water conservation, including directions on how to make a lid sink.

For further lid sink instructions check out Bridge Street Inn guest Stephanie Croff’s amazing lid sink story.

Bridge Street Inn Celebrates 2013 by giving 1% to the Planet

1% for the Planet Bridge Street Inn

For more information, contact:
Barbara Friedsam 1% for the Planet
+1 (802) 496-5408

Bridge Street Inn Announces Partnership with 1% for the Planet

The Bridge Street Inn joined 1% for the Planet (1%), pledging to donate 1% of annual sales to support non-profit organizations focused on sustainability.

“Signing on to 1% for the Planet shows the Bridge Street Inn has a strong commitment to investing in sustainability efforts,” says Terry Kellogg, CEO. “They’re using business as a tool to engage and motivate their stakeholders while partnering with environmental organizations that complement their brand. We’re excited to welcome the Bridge Street Inn to our global network.”

“The Bridge Street Inn joined 1% for the Planet because a majority of our guests and staff visit Cambria to play in and be inspired by this unique coastal area.  It’s our way of reinvesting in Cambria’s greatest commodity, the environment,” says Brandon Follett, owner.

Members of 1% for the Planet contribute one percent of annual sales directly to any of the approved non-profit environmental organizations in the network. Non-profits are approved based on referrals, track record and sustainbility focus. Over 3,000 non-profits worldwide are currently approved.

“As we near our 10th anniversary we’re celebrating that our members have contributed nearly $100 million of critically needed funds,” comments Kellogg. “The understanding that brands can succeed financially by investing in the environment is clearly apparent, and consumer demand is driving a lot of this success. The average annual revenue growth of the companies in the 1% for the Planet network from 2008 to 2011 was over 50%, even though the overall economy has been struggling. There’s a paradigm shift happening here and we’re thrilled that so many innovative businesses are sling-shotting the movement in to high gear.”

About 1% for the Planet
Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, 1% for the Planet is a platform of credibility and engagement for environmentally conscious brands that are truly committed to making a positive impact with their business. This growing global movement of over 1,100 member companies in 48 countries donate one percent of annual sales to environmental organizations worldwide. To learn more go to:

About New Company

The Bridge Street Inn is a cozy European-style guest house located in the historic East Village of Cambria.  The Bridge Street Inn is a homey, creative alternative to busy dorm style youth hostels, plain-box motels and expensive B&Bs.  We look forward to  welcoming you soon!

Cambria is a quintessential California beach town and artist enclave that offers up a variety of meaningful and inspiring activities for the artist, musician, foodie, nature lover, hiker, surfer, and bicycle rider within city limits.

Located one mile from beautiful Moonstone Beach, 8 miles from Hearst Castle,  22 miles from the southern Big Sur hiking trails, and only 4 hours from San Franscisco and Los Angeles.  We are the perfect midway point along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Read more:

Bicycle Rentals and Bicycle Adventure in Cambria, CA

bicycle surfer bsi

Despite Cambria’s amazing surf no one rents surfboards.

Not everyone gets ready for vacation by strapping their queen size bed on top of their mini van or buckles  their cherry tomato plant into the front seat of their Honda.  The good folks in Cambria realize  you can’t bring all your worldly possessions on vacation.  Fortunately the Bridge Street Inn offers queen size beds and it’s within walking distance of a grocery store that sells cherry tomatoes.  Beginning this month Cambria offers a new service to the visiting guest, BICYCLE RENTALS.

Cambrian resident Dan along with Wally’s Bicycle Rentals offer a free delivery service anywhere in Cambria. Renting a bicycle is simple.  The Bridge Street Inn guest  calls Dan the night before their bike ride.  In the morning Dan will drop off the bicycle at the Bridge Street Inn tuned,  lubed and ready for that day’s adventure.  Bicycle rates vary according to how many days and hours rented.



Bicycle ride with ocean views.

Santa Rosa Creek bicycle Cambria

Bicycle ride with mountain views.

For the bicycle rider who loves leisurely rides that involve world class scenery and local culture Cambria’s location will amaze.

Santa Rosa Creek Road for the Skilled

Santa Rosa Creek starts in Cambria and meanders through the farm and ranch land of the Santa Lucia Mountains.  The one lane windy road ends near the top of the highway 46 pass.  Old Creek Road picks up on the other side of 46.  Follow the road into Cayucos then take Highway 1 back to Cambria.  This 42.2 mile loop is not for the laid back beach cruiser cyclist.  Click here for loop details.


Linn's Fruit Bin Farmstore bicycle

Bicycle riders with shorts that snug their buns super tight always go faster.  However normal shorts can help the cyclist slow down to smell the roses.

The  carefree Santa Rosa Creek adventure does not involve walking your bicycle or wearing padded shorts.  The first 5 miles of Santa Rose Creek Road takes a cyclist through rolling farm/ranch land along a tree lined single lane road.   Besides  the beautiful natural landscape there’s plenty of cows, goats, sheep, pigs, raptors, horses, old farm houses, and barns to look at.  Be careful a good looking pig can prove as distracting as texting.

Linn's Fruit Bin Farmstore

Linn’s Original Farmstore is 5 miles up the road.  Linn’s offers individual fruit pies and drinks.  Linn’s will only serve their pies on disposable wear.  This problem is easily solved by bringing a small camping plate and fork.  The farmstore provides shade trees and tables.  A perfect place to play cribbage.

Stolo Family Winery

Chet the friendly goat

On the way back into town stop by Stolo Family Winery and Tasting Room.  This is the last stop before Cambria.  It’s located only a couple miles out of town.   Despite not having bike racks I felt comfortable leaning my bicycle against the building.  A tasting costs $5.  The tasting room has a wonderful open feel.  Near the entrance facing west there are several chairs and tables, an ideal spot to soak up some sun rays, write a poem and watch the sunset.  The Stolo family is a nontraditional family.  No, two women do not head this family nor two kissing cousins.  Instead,  two members of the Stolo family are goats.  Chet and Betty are fun to pet while drinking wine.

cambria to hearst castle by bicycle

The Hearst Experience

Many parts of Highway 1 from Carmel to Big Sur are shoulderless, steep and narrow.  A bicycle rider should not pedal through Big Sur if they pedal erratically, curse god when they break a sweat or do not have the mental capacity to handle near death scrapes with inexperienced RV renters.   However the ease of the 7 mile stretch of Highway 1 between Cambria and the Hearst Castle might be the section of PCH pavement for you.

The one small hill allows the inexperienced bicycle rider to enjoy the couch up until the day of their adventure.  A bicycle rider with one hand on the handlebar and the other on their smart phone can update their Facebook and text while navigating the wide PCH shoulder. The zebra missed because of digital distractions, can be recaptured with a scenic postcard purchased  at the Hearst Castle gift shop.

sebastian's general store black bean burger

Mick Jagger with his big enough mouth would be intimidated by the size of these monstrous vegetable packed sandwiches.

On a serious note no matter what type of bicycle rider you are Sebastian’s General Store will amaze you with their large Hearst beef sandwiches piled with delicious veggies.  Also located in the general store is the Hearst Wine tasting room.

Digest your food and sleep off the wine at the W.R. Hearst Memorial State Beach.

cambria to cayucose by bicycle

45.7 miles of Bicycle fun between Cambria and Pismo Beach

The wind blows North to South along the PCH.  Cambria is the second to last stop for the RTA bus heading North.  A bicycle rider can pedal the 45.7 miles from Cambria to Pismo Beach with the wind at their back.  If a cyclist doesn’t want to pedal back to Cambria against the wind he or she can put their bicycle on the bus. RTA BUS SCHEDULE

The Weekend Boni’s Tacos Bicycle Picnic

bicycle outfit

“I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” Henry David Thoreau

Patagonia Work Culture found at Bob and Jan’s Bottle Shop

bob and jan's bottle shop liquor store cambria

2292 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428
(805) 927-4909

Bob and Jan’s Bottle Shop is a block away from the Bridge Street Inn. The store has a fine selection of alcoholic beverages plus other essentials like toothpaste.  Forgot half and half for your morning cup of coffee?  Need some Haagen Dazs ice cream at 10:55 PM?  Run to Bob and Jan’s. When the rest of the East Village shops are closed  you might find what you need at the liquor store.  It’s open from 9AM till 11PM Mon-Sat and 8PM on Sun.

Bob and Jan’s business culture exemplifies a section of the current book I’m enjoying, “Let My People go Surfing” by Yvon Chouinard the founder of Patagonia. The chapter that describes the type of people Patagonia seeks to hire reminds me of Bob and Jan’s employees.   Yvon writes, “Of course we do hire some people strictly for their technical expertise. We have employees who never sleep outside or who have never peed in the woods. What they all do share, as our organizational development consultant noted, is a passion for something outside themselves, whether for surfing or opera, climbing or gardening, skiing or community activism.”

Bob and Jan’s Bottle Shop employees are an example of this type of hiring practice. Here are two employees at Bob and Jan’s who do more then drink wine, eat ice cream or brush their teeth.

Maury Schallock Cambria CA artist

New art by Maury Schallock that features aliens and the Bridge Street Inn.

Aliens at the Bridge Street Inn

horse in Cambria California

Cambrian motorists happily share the road with bicyclists and Noreen the horse rider.

Designing the Dream, the Hearst Castle Bicycle tour

hearst castle bicycle

Take advantage of the Bridge Street Inn’s unique location by hopping on a bicycle.

Worth the Climb: visiting Hearst Castle

If you have the opportunity to jump on the bike and head out along Highway One on the Hearst Experience, don’t just stop at the top of the hill and buy a postcard from the shop! You can also take advantage of a unique new tour of Hearst Castle, which runs from June 1 through Labor Day.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation is offering the tour, called “Designing the Dream”, which will feature parts of the castle that have been closed to visitors for several years.

The man behind the vision

Hearst Castle was constructed by legendary newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who had a deep and lasting influence on American journalism. He was the owner and publisher of The San Francisco Examiner, and later The New York Journal. Hearst was also involved in politics, as a Democratic member of the Congress between 1903 and 1907. He made several unsuccessful attempts to become mayor and later governor of New York. His life story was the inspiration for the lead character of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane.

“The Enchanted Hill”

In 1919, Hearst inherited more than 250,000 acres from his mother and father.  He started searching for ways to transform it into his dream estate, “La Cuesta Encantada”, which translated from Spanish means “The Enchanted Hill”. He realized his dream together with architect Julia Morgan. The San Simeon landmark has 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways. Hearst filled these spaces with his personal collection of ancient art, sculptures, furniture and relics.

In 1937, Hearst started to sell some of his collection due to challenges he was experiencing in the post-depression years. In 1937 alone, sales generated at least $11 million. A few years later, in 1941, a further 20,000 objects were put up for sale, including author Charles Dickens’ sideboard and Thomas Jefferson’s Bible. Incredibly, when the castle was donated to the State of California by the Hearst Corporation in 1957 – six years after its owner’s death – there were still enough items remaining for the whole house to be considered a museum.

Designing the Dream: the tour

The 90-minute castle tour will explore its evolution over several decades. Visitors will see the famous Neptune Pool, which offers magnificent views of the mountains and features an ancient Roman temple facade which was transported from Europe and reconstructed on site. The tour will also take in the estate gardens, the interior rooms of the “Casa del Sol” guest cottage and the North Wing of the “Casa Grande” (big house). The tour will show how styles changed dramatically between the start of construction in the 1920s and the end in the mid 1940s, although it is said that Hearst’s constant amendments and changes meant that the castle was never fully completed in his lifetime.

The tour will end with a behind the scenes visit to the estate’s Roman Pool and its dressing rooms. After that, visitors will be able to stroll around the grounds and enjoy the magnificent view, just as guests such as Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, James Stewart, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill did back in the castle’s heyday. The price is $30 for adults and $15 for children.

Cycling: the Best Buddies Challenge

Such is the power and significance of the landmark estate that it draws some one million visitors each year. This is in spite of the fact that its location is far from urban centers; some 250 miles from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. The estate is located five miles inland in the Santa Lucia range, at an altitude of 1600 feet.

It has also inspired cyclists from near and far. The combination of the mesmerizing scenery along Highway One and the castle made it perhaps an irresistible choice to form part of the route of the “Hearst Castle ride”. The ride, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is a fundraiser for Best Buddies, an international charity for the intellectually disabled. It gives riders the chance to enjoy 100 miles of spectacular views and uninterrupted roadway from the Monterey Peninsula to San Simeon.

Conditions on Highway One

With tourism to the castle and the importance of the Best Buddies ride on the national cycling calendar, the condition of the Highway One is naturally of paramount importance. In the build-up to the race, which will be held on September 7th this year, all eyes are on Californian road authority Caltrans because it recently sealed 20 miles of the road to the north of Cambria using “chip-seal”. Chip-seal is a type of sealant which uses larger stones and therefore produces a rougher, bumpier ride for cyclists. Concerns have been raised by cyclists and tourist officials alike, leading Caltrans to hire a specialist company to test different ways of fixing the problem. Authorities are confident they will resolve the issue; however, as with most events of this nature, there is always a certain amount of risk involved. Individuals as well as organizations should be advised to prepare for all contingencies.

Nonetheless, if the recommendations of cyclists from previous years are anything to go by, the party at Hearst Castle at the end of the Best Buddies ride is a fantastic finale to the event and not to be missed. It seems whatever your motivation for ascending the hill to Hearst Castle, the climb is always worth it.

Special thanks to Melissa Hathaway for contributing this article.

The Bridge Street Inn scene through the photographic eye of Linda Kessler

When I opened the Bridge Street Inn e-mail I was pleasantly surprised.  Linda Kessler, a professional fine arts pregnancy, baby, children, and family portrait photographer sent some photos she had taken while staying at the Bridge Street Inn.  Linda’s work has been show cased many places including Pregnancy Magazine. Check out Linda’s portfolio at her website Focus Pocus.   Thank you Linda!!!

Bridge Street Inn photo by Linda Kessler

Bridge Street Inn photo by Linda Kessler

Bridge Street Inn cottage photo by Linda Kessler

Bridge Street Inn cottage photo by Linda Kessler

Brandon Follett, BSI owner, photo by Linda Kessler

Brandon Follett, BSI owner, photo by Linda Kessler

Cambria street musician photo by Linda Kessler

Cambria street musician photo by Linda Kessler

Birthing Sock Monkey

Cambria, California has an eclectic art scene. An example can be found at the Painted Lily Gallery. Artist Sara Blair-Field takes the imagination to a new place with her sock monkey’s. To learn more about the Painted Lily Gallery and Sara’s work check out

Special thanks to Ginna Mueller for her assistance.