Wednesday, November 11, 2015

On the Pacific Coast Highway: Morro Bay and Elephant Seal Vista Point [3/15]




Two places that we really enjoyed on our road trip through the USA (but it has to be said that we really enjoyed it all) were Morro Bay and the Elephant Seal Vista Point. Morro Bay because it was a much needed resting place after a whole day of road tripping, and Elephant Seal Vista Point because of the wonderful animals there.

We booked our stay in Morro Bay for the night in the Sandpiper Inn. We upgraded from the murder-murder-suicide motel in Santa Monica to this one where I would cross off at least one "murder". Actually, the owner was really nice, they even had a modest breakfast in the office rooms the next morning.




Morro Bay is a very quiet place, just what we needed after a whole day of driving. It's a fisherman's town with a lovely harbor and great seafood restaurants. The town's most striking feature is Morro Rock, a 576 foot high volcanic plug which stands at the entrance to the harbor. The Rock, as locals call it, was quarried from 1889 to 1969. Public access is restricted, as the rock is a peregrine falcon reserve. However, the area around the base of Morro Rock can be visited.




Morro Rock was originally surrounded by water, but the Army built a large artificial breakwater and road across the north end of the harbor, linking Morro Rock and the mainland. There is also a power plant nearby which played a large role for Morro Bay, and in providing electricity to the Central Coast and the Central Valley of California.








We had dinner in a lovely restaurant called Dutchman's Seafood House. We all had clam chowder (for the first time it was amazing), as well as fried Sea bass and King Shrimp. All very delicious! We went to bead early again, ready for the next day and woke around 8am next morning to start our day.

Drive on the Pacific Coast Highway

Every mile on this highway is a delight. The first stop we made the next day was on some random rocks where we simply enjoyed the sights. Nothing really compares to this feeling of freedom you have when being here. No matter where you turn your head you will see the wast ocean, long roads, and many many photo opportunities. I can't even begin to describe how overwhelmed I felt here.






Elephant Seal Vista Point

The first highlight of the day came upon us immediately when we departed Morro Bay. We stopped to tank gas in a small town called Cambria and then headed north to the Elephant Seal Vista Point. Northern Elephant Seals to the Coastline of California. Here a wonderful event happens. It's the return of the Northern Elephant Seals. That return happens mainly at two locations at two different California State Parks.  One is located at Ano Nuevo State Park along the San Mateo Coast south of San Francisco and the other is here in the Hearst-San Simeon State Park.





The seals travel a long journey from the Northern Seas to get here, and I guess that's why we felt close to them. Just like us who have been traveling a third of the globe to get here, so they have traveled to now rest on this beach. It's interesting how generations and generations of seals travel back to this same spot. Nature is always ready to amaze you.







We eventually moved on and kept on driving further north on the Pacific Coast Highway. A long day was ahead of us, and we wanted to see so much more. The drive would eventually lead us to San Francisco, but there are more amazing sights until we arrive there.






End of Part Three
To be continued...

50 comments:

  1. You had an amazing road trip with such beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

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  2. You have a corolful November in opposit of our grey November. And those cute seals, just wonderfully lazy lying without no hurry.

    R. Täysin arkista

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  3. Nice area and love the photos of the seals

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  4. I think for me it would be a good thing that they put up the fencing or I would be down there trying to pet the seals.
    Thanks for sharing your photos at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/11/basilica-shrine-of-saint-mary.html

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    1. I think so too. :) But I think that would be dangerous, even though they don't look it.

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  5. Wonderful... Really enjoying these posts.

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  6. Your photographs are stunning... so are the place you visit... and most beautiful of all, take us on this trip with you ... Due to different causes i rarely travel so i enjoy this very much, every time. A very nice 'extra' to this photomeme.

    Have a nice abc-day/ - week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ <abc-w-team)

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    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoy the travel posts. Lots more to come. It truly gets better as our journey goes on.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your vacation with us,
    The photography is stunning,
    best wishes,
    Di.
    ABCW team.

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  8. Really enjoyed this post and your photos!

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  9. Thank you for taking us on your vacation. I love the lighting in your photos. You can feel what time of day it might be just from your lighting. It looks like a beautiful place and your photos are postcard worthy! If you decide to come see mine I am going to add the link so it doesn't get lost in the bloggyness of my day. http://www.mariasspace.com/2015/11/abc-oh-rats-unlikely-pet-friends.html

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  10. Hello Mersad, wonderful images. The elephant seals are cool, it is amazing how far they travel. Thanks for sharing your trip! Have a happy day!

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  11. I've driven the Pacific Highway before, but it was many, many years ago. And it was much further north than where you are. But I still remember the amazing beauty of it. Very interesting about the seals and so neat that you were able to see them.

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    1. Yes, we truly were there at the right place in the right time.

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  12. Wunderschöne, bunte Eindrücke!
    Und die Robben, so nah zu denen stehen zu dürfen und von so nah sie beobachten. Ein tolles Erlebnis. Liebe Grüße

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  13. Great pics and trip.Nice post.

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  14. Wonderful images of a picturesque trip. Glad you go to enjoy this.

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  15. Looks like a nice getaway.

    ROG, ABCW

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  16. What a wonderful trip. Blue skies, and fantsastic beach scenes and I love the winding paths. The seals must have been exhausted. So many of them. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. They were so much fun to observe.

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  17. That was quite a lot of seals on the beach. I don't think I've ever seen that many at once.

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    1. I have never seen any this up close before. It was quite an experience.

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  18. Robben! Wie toll! Die möchte ich auch mal in der Natur und frei sehen! Ach und war eure Strecke nicht sehr lang? Ging das? wieviele Kilometer seid ihr unterm Strich eigentlich gefahren??? GlG Anne

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    1. Insegsammt waren es 3200 km in 15 tagen. Aber es gab tage wo wir über hapt nivht gefaren sind, und dann gab es die lange fahrt zum Grand Canyon (über 800km an dem Tag). Aber meistens waren es 3-4 Stunden fahrt an den Tagen wo wir gefahren sind. Und alle sind ein bisschen gefahren.

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  19. Hi Mersad, you truly have an awesome drive, i can imagine you still want to stay if only there is more time. I am so glad that at least i felt i saw them too. We call photos with ourselves in them as "tourist shots", and you had lots of them too. Thanks for the tour and the wonderful images.

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  20. What a beautiful coastal drive. And great photos of the sea lions. Keep those travel tales coming! :)

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  21. love the seals! and the beautiful coastline shots! beautiful!

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  22. Your Pacific Coast Highway weather during your trip looks like the current November weather in Germany! ;-) Blue sky, some white clouds, a warm light and pleasant temperatures.
    But we've no seals along our riverbanks... ;-))
    Mit etwas Glück hast du auch irgenwo meine Cousine dort am Strand getroffen - die wohnt seit einigen Monaten dort nördlich von LA.
    Gruß aus dem herbstlich warmen Deutschland,
    Uwe.

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  23. the seals are too cool! lovely shoreline and views. and yum on the seafood!

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  24. Those seals! What beautiful locations and spectacular photos.

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  25. Those seals! What beautiful locations and spectacular photos.

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  26. What a trip ~ Gorgeous photography and do hope the seals were justing resting in the sun ~ Lovely family you have ~


    Happy weekend coming to you,
    artmusedog and carol
    ps I remember a similar trip well ~ thanks for the visual memories ~

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  27. i am lying in bed with my laptop trying to catch up on missed posts. i would love to see those seals and the coast line, but the buildings in your courntry are much more appealing to me than the ones you saw in CA...

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  28. Whether it's Bosnia or the States, your photos are always awesome!

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  29. Great series... and the loveliest are the seals -

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  30. I've driven or rode rather on that highway so this brought back some good memories. Your photos are just so gorgeous. I loved this post.

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  31. Beautiful views. I enjoyed all.

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  32. It is an amazing and beautiful place, isn't it!!! I'm so glad you've been able to see this area the way you have and to be able to enjoy it!! It is one of my favorite places here in the states!! Thank you, as always, for sharing the beauty and the fun!!

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  33. Mersad, I am really enjoying your trip. Such a beautiful place. I haven't visited California yet, but you are making a good case for me to go!

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  34. Wow, that's a lot of driving! So interesting to see the seals. As always, your photos are fantastic.

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  35. Oh yes, Nature is always ready to amaze you^^

    Thanks for sharing these moments

    Greetings

    Nova

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  36. I've been to Morro Bay many times and loved it more each time I went. Great shots!

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  37. Beautiful photo shares. Thank you for this tour of your trip! Have a great weekend.

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  38. This looks so fun! The seals must have been amazing to view!

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  39. What a great trip, but I have already said that more than once. We want to drive the northern part of the coastal highway, but I might have to add the souther part after seeing this post. I would really like to see the Elephant Sea.

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  40. What a great trip, but I have already said that more than once. We want to drive the northern part of the coastal highway, but I might have to add the souther part after seeing this post. I would really like to see the Elephant Sea.

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