Just before Memorial Day, your intrepid urban adventurers stepped outside of their asphalt-coated comfort zone for a lightning 40-hour road trip to explore some notable, rural Central Californian attractions. This is the third of several blog posts sharing scenes from the road.

While Nitt Witt Ridge is definitely the granddaddy of all folk art environments on the Central Coast, anyone interested in manifestations of amateur creativity and raw feeling should schedule a visit to Cambria's historic, eclectic, mountain cemetery.

Unlike tidy urban graveyards that frown on mourners placing their own messy memorials on loved ones' burial sites — it makes it so hard to mow, after all — Cambria Cemetery welcomes all manner of personal expressions of grief, from elaborate sculptures showing the deceased in life…


…to collections of shiny treasures reflecting their former passions.

Exploring the shaded woodland paths populated with expansive expressions of love and loss, one gets the sense that this is a community that's learned how to say goodbye in a way that encourages healing and personal growth. While all of the deceased were strangers to us, as is typically the case when visiting an historic graveyard, we left Cambria Cemetery feeling as though we had spent an hour with hundreds of distinct individuals. While serene and lovely, it's the farthest thing from sad as a cemetery could be.

For more photos from Cambria Cemetery, click this link.