The quickest, most direct way to get to Morro Bay would have been to head south from Pinnacles and pick up highway 101. But we wanted to see the Big Sur coast. There had been a major fire there during the summer and we wanted to see the results. We picked up highway 1 near Monterey and went south. If you ever want to see this part of California be sure to travel north to south so the ocean and turnouts are on your right.
Seen in the distance here is the Bixby bridge. If you have ever read a novel set in Carmel or Monterey, it might have mentioned this bridge. Built in 1932 it is a popular location for commercials as well as movies.
We did not see the devastation we had expected. Fire fighters had managed to keep the fire away from the resorts and business along the highway. In places burned trees could be seen and some campgrounds were closed. This hillside had dead trees but the fire had not killed the grass and wildflowers.
No, this is not driftwood on the beach but this years elephant seal pups.
The sign says that only the pups should be here in March but there were a few of the females already and someone forgot to tell the big male throwing sand on his back that he wasn't supposed to be there. Actually, for a male elephant seal, he isn't very big.
Hubby and I first saw this colony of elephant seals nearly 20 years ago. At that time it was fairly new and there was no fence. You could walk right down to the beach where the seals were, if you were that foolish.
Morro rock is the plug of an ancient volcano. It is the last in a row of nine such plugs that stretches from San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay.
The bay is home to a great variety of bird life.
These are just a few examples.
After leaving Morro Bay we headed to Carrizo Plain National Monument, said to be the last place to see wild flowers as witnessed by John Muir.
For more water sites click here.