Sunday, April 12, 2009

Big Sur to Morro Bay



Watery Wednesday


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.

22 comments:

Ginnymo said...

What awesome photos Martha!!! Those Seals are neat to see I bet. Love your duck photos!!

Pacey said...

What a beautiful journey and thanks for showing us these photos. So beautiful and the elephant seals just intrigues me as I haven't seen one yet. We don't have it here.

2sweetnsaxy said...

What beautiful shots! I thought the first would be my favorite but it turns out there are some others. :-) Those seals look dead just lying there but I like the shot where you capture sand flying in the air showing that they're not dead. :-D

ewok1993 said...

I've taken a road trip from San Fran to SLO with stops at Carmel, Monterrey, and MOrro Bay. It's a beautiful part of the state; the coast is so dramatic and gorgeous.

Amanda said...

Love both places been there many times but Big Sur has magic and your photos showed it off well!

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Ebie (The Main-Ingredient) said...

I thought they were dead too. Whew, what a relief. These are beautiful photos. We are debating on going coastal, which is Morro Bay or towards inland to Mammoth next month. My daughter prefers the latter.

BNS said...

Thanks for the wonderful mini tour. I haven't been to that part of California in years, but these photos have reminded me that I should plan to go back.

DrowseyMonkey said...

Such a compelling post! Okay - I thought the seal pups were dead too ... lol. I got too caught up in the great photography.

Your photos are amazing.

Jane said...

Some lovely shots and a very dramatic and unpredictable (I see the fog is slowly coming in in one shot)coastline. Have a great week:)

Margaret's Ramblings said...

What a magnificant coastline. Beautiful photos.

Margaret

Mojo said...

Spectacular shots! The first one reeled me right in especially.

Diane C. said...

The hillside looks pretty with grass and wildflowers. And, I love your pictures of the curlew with wings up and the elephant seal throwing sand.

Tarolino said...

A very scenic post. I loved the scenery and the blue sea. The volcano 'plug' was particularly impressive and to have a beach full of elephant seals and just let the camera go click click must be a real treat. Lovely bird shots too. Glad the landscape was not too badly ravaged by the fires.

Tulip said...

lovely photos, the birds and a duck so lovely and the hills captured a wonderful view.

Linnea W said...

Classic shots of a beautiful coastline! You obviously had a great time and captured some great scenes...

Blue Eyed Tango said...

What beauty! I've only been to San Fran on business. I wish we would have taken the time to enjoy more of CA coastline. Thank you for sharing your part of the world. Luanne

completely-coastal.com said...

I've traveled along Highway 1 once, a zillion years ago..., and I just want to go back and explore more. It's so gorgeous!

Barb said...

Hi Martha,
I'm counting the days (well-weeks) until I'll be taking some similar shots in CA! We'll be in the Monterey/Carmel area to bike for a couple days. I took a stroll through some of your other posts, too. You have magnificent photographs.

Tammie Lee said...

First your photos are wonderful.
Then you just had me smiling the entire time. I lived in S.Ca. most my life and spent plenty of time along that coast. so many wonderful memories have risen due to your post. Many thanks.

storyteller said...

Lovely photos of the beautiful California coastal areas and wildlife too ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Annie said...

A very interesting walk through Your World this week, thank you! And thank you for strolling through NYC with me also!

Bim said...

Lovely photos - so next time I can sneak away to California this looks like a place to go.