I thought I would share some recent photos from a beautiful, albeit quick, trip down the California coast. As I didn’t plan to blog at the time, I’m sorry that I don’t have a location to offer for every spot pictured. But I hope you’ll enjoy the photos and share in the delight of our surprise find at the end!
As a note: italicized captions for photos will be on the bottom of the photos.
We left Fort Bragg and headed south to our next stop, Carmel-by-the-Sea on California’s Monterey Peninsula. A charming beach city with approximately eighty art galleries, fairytale cottages, superb restaurants, museums, libraries, and much more.
I just loved this house.
One of several galleries we spent time visiting
Another view of the town
Carmel’s Church of the Wayfarer
A charming old door which I believe opened into a garden at a private home.
What the street signs look like in Carmel-by-the-Sea
Spent a little bit of time on Carmel’s beach before getting ready to make our way down the coast. These (above) are the last photos of Carmel.
One of the first vista points after getting on the road again
One of my very favorite vistas. Love the swirls in the sand. Below, is a close up of the same scene.
So pretty! Wish we could have spent more time here.
A car driving south on Route 1. This photo is typical of what you might see.
A photo from the east side of the road. Almost looks like a shot of the Earth. Sort of?
Route 1 curves a lot. Sometimes, going south, you’ll be right at the ocean’s edge as in this shot.
One of my personal favorites. Light hitting the Pacific Ocean. Very serene and spiritual.
I love the color of the water in this area.
As we continued to drive, it was getting closer to sunset. We had planned to stay on the scenic route until it got dark. There wasn’t much time to stop, but when we got to this last, huge vista site, we wondered what so many cars (and people, of course) were doing there. Naturally, we had to check it out.
Okay, so you’d think that when I saw this sign, I was prepared for what would be on the beach. But for some reason, I just thought it was a random sign about wildlife in the area. So, I was absolutely shocked when I finally caught sight of what was on the beach below.
At first, I didn’t think there were so many.
To my surprise, there were thousands of elephant seals on the beach … and it was mating season!
Worn out from all of the fun!
Here are a couple of the signs posted to teach visitors more about elephant seals.
To give you a bit more information, the males can grow up to 5,000 lbs (2300 kg) and 16 ft (5 m) long. Friends of the Elephant Seal News tells us that in the December-through-February mating season, males contest for breeding rights for up to 100 days without food or water.
The female seals grow to as much as 1,800 lbs (800 kg) and 12 ft (4 m). In an average of 34 days, the female loses 40% of her weight while she births, nurses, weans her pup, and breeds before returning to the sea.
I’m sorry that the video I took isn’t better quality, but you can imagine my surprise to see this activity on the beach below. At first, the e-seals looked like fictional creatures to me … the first thing that came to mind were heffalumps from Winnie the Pooh.
That’s about all. Except to tell you that you can learn more about elephant seals at Friends of the Elephant Seal. Their website has lots of great information, ways to help the e-seals, fantastic souvenirs,, an ESeal live cam, and much more.
One of the last photos I took from Route 1 as the sun was setting on our day.
Thanks for sharing my trip with me!
Best wishes to all,