Monday, May 01, 2017

Morro Bay: March 2017

(Remember that you can click on the photos to see a slideshow, and then hit "escape" to get back to the text. Also, a note on the photo credits: as always, both Felice and I took these shots, and many of my shots resulted from her suggestions.  I do the photo editing using Lightroom; my goal is to reproduce just what we saw, as faithfully as possible.)

In early March, we took a very brief trip to Morro Bay.  Unfortunately, I had the flu the entire time, so our activities were pretty limited.  We arrived at Montana de Oro State Park on the afternoon of March 8 and took a pleasant bike ride along the cliffs at sunset:

March 9:  We hiked at Point Buchon, just south of the state park, which is private property maintained by Pacific Gas & Electric.  There are only a limited number of slots available for hikers, and entrance is by reservation only:

One of the sea caves had collapsed to create a sinkhole, revealing a striking "angular unconformity," in which old strata were first tilted up, then cut off flat by wave erosion, and then capped with new horizontal strata -- the contact zone runs from the lower left to the center of the shot:

There were tunnels through the offshore remnants of the coastal cliffs:

March 10:  In the morning, we rode our bikes along the cliffs of Montana de Oro.  The wildflowers were just starting to bloom:

On a muddy shelf near the water, we found (I think) coyote tracks:

At midday, we moved our campsite north to Morro Strand State Beach.  Even though this campground was just a parking lot next to the beach, the views of Morro Rock and the ocean were great, even from inside the trailer:

March 11:  In the morning, we we drove north along the coast to Ragged Point, where the coast highway was closed by a rockslide.  The drive was exquisite; after all the rain (almost 100 inches in some parts of Big Sur!), the hills were a brilliant emerald green.  On the way south, we stopped off at Piedras Blancas to watch the elephant seals.  From the cliff, we could see them swimming in the surf:

The huge males were posing on the sand, bellowing at their rivals:

We saw a brief fight between two males:

After the fight, the victorious male settled down for a nap.  The female slithered away, inchworming across the sand toward (I think) her pup:

This is a close-up of the male, asleep -- his skin is scarred after hundreds of fights:

As they doze on the beach, they throw sand over themselves, perhaps to drive away the flies or to protect themselves from the sun:

The sunset that evening was astonishing – Felice took this with her iPhone:


Ski3pin said...

What a breathtaking sunset! You two are so lucky to have the beautiful Central Coast so close. Thanks for sharing your fun with us!

1Kotonk said...

Nice post as usual, thanks for sharing.