We took a two-day drive down California Highway 1 to visit my sweetheart’s family for Thanksgiving. Morro Bay is only 220 miles from Oakland, but Highway 1 is a windy road and we had to stop and see the sights. A lot.
This was on the beach on Forest Service land near Big Sur. As I understand it, all the rocky hills along the coast are the result of long ago earthquakes.
The next shot is the view from the little cafe where we ate breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. A beautiful view is something for which I can always be thankful.
Fascinating creatures. These are mostly adolescent ones, but the males get bigger than two tons. They spend big chunks of their lives at sea and, despite being mammals, can stay underwater for up to an hour. They swim thousands of miles, eating everything they can (and providing meals for orcas), then come back to the beach to lie in the sun and fast. The alpha males stake out patches of beach in January, and the females come in, pick a beach and a male, and give birth to their pups. After nursing the pups for about four weeks, they go into estrus and mate. Then they take off swimming again, leaving the pups to fend for themselves.
I don’t know if anyone has done it, but I think one could build a fascinating alien culture out of elephant seals.
Here’s out ending point, Morro Bay, as seen from Black Hill just to the east of town:
We went kayaking around the sand spit and saw some live sand dollars and lots of pelicans, but I wasn’t sure enough of my kayaking skills to take my camera with me. The towers to the right are the smokestacks of a now-defunct power plant. There are major discussions about what to do with it.
All in all, an excellent Thanksgiving.