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 HighwayEvery 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 PointThe 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.
To be continued...