Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Big Sur Coast, California

Dogpile!! Elephant seals at Piedra Blancas Elephant Seal rookery, CA.
Copyright (c) 2013 Wendee Nicole

Sunday we drove to Big Sur for a couple of days of camping. First, we went to Piedras Blancas to see the elephant seals! This is a rookery where they mate and give birth, and later return to molt, so you can see the seals almost year-round. This is the time of year when subadults and females return to molt. This shot looks amazingly similar to Sonoma Coast State Beach where I camped with Paige and all of our kids a couple years back!

There were only 1 or 2 big daddy-o's (maybe none?) but there were some cantankerous guys who would rear up at one another and get in eachother's faces. It was quite entertaining to watch. I suspect they were subadult males "practicing" their fighting.

A video of the elephant seals. They made the funniest noises! I don't think the video actually captured the sounds they make, though... 

I have to say, I think the elephant seals were much cuter than I thought they would be! I have seen photos of them and always thought they were rather hideous, but had never seen elephant seals in the wild before. They have those big funky noses, but they are actually super cute! I had a permagrin and could have watched for hours.

When we first arrived, I looked over the cliff edge, and these ones were really close. This one in front was adorbs! Something about her just tickled me.

The seals were in various stages of molting. We stayed about an hour and watched. I could have stayed for hours!!

Wendee feels happy and peaceful  by the sea!! (And, she likes to talk about herself in third person)

This is a shot of the ocean from a random roadside stop. It was really gorgeous and dramatic. The ocean was incredibly blue, also.

A shot of the cliffside from a roadside turnout. By the way, all these are iPhone photos... I have a ton more on my Canon camera that I haven't even downloaded, but I'll upload the best ones when I get a chance.

The view from the Nepenthe restaurant.

We ate dinner here, a restaurant overlooking the Big Sur cliffside and ocean. From their website: "In Greek, Nepenthe means "isle of no care," a place to find surcease from sorrow. So it continues to be for travelers today. A place to stop, to dream, to lift a cup to kindness." 

Miranda and I at Nepenthe. I love this photo!

Bob and Miranda at Nepenthe.

I took this photo at Nepenthe of the ocean. There was a darker blue line on the horizon that made the sea look surreal. Then I instagrammed it, making it even more artsy!

We camped at the Riverside Big Sur campground (all the state parks around were already booked by the time we made our reservation). This is the cute little tent that I brought with me... it was a "Scout" tent and thought it "fits two" it actually was a bit too short for me - ha ha. But I managed. 

We had a site right next to the Big Sur River. It was very peaceful to hear the gurgling sounds of the gentle creek as I fell asleep.

On Monday, all three of us went to look for condors where we thought they may be hanging out. We stopped at Pfeiffer Beach, which was gorgeous!

It was really cool watching the waves crashing through this giant rock just offshore... it's called Keyhole Rock.

This isn't a great photo - the sky was cloudy and foggy until about 3pm - but I thought these trees were very cool looking. This was on the short hike to Pfeiffer Beach.

Another view of Pfeiffer Beach

We took Bob back to the campground and Miranda and I explored a little. We went back to Nepenthe for a latte and soup, and then went to another park to hike. We took a 1-mile hike to the beach at Andrew Molera State Park, which took us through this beautiful California chaparral.

A creek we passed on the way to the beach. In fact, right at the beginning of the hike we had to take our shoes off and cross the freezing-cold Big Sur River!

The skies cleared right as we started hiking, so we were able to enjoy the ocean waves with a clear blue sky... I sat on a rock for a while and just listened to the sea.

Another shot of the ocean from Andrew Molera State Park

We got back to the campground around 5pm, and made our camp dinner and then... Smores! Because it wouldn't be camping without S'mores!

And a blazing campfire! Miranda and I stayed up talking about life long after dark.

Peace out! Headed back home... hasta luego!


Laura Zera said...

If Wendee feels happy near the sea, why is Wendee frowning in that photo? Great pic of you and Miranda, though. That's a happy Wendee face. Love the seals, I would have wanted to sit and watch them for hours, too. It looks like it was a fantastic camping trip and you couldn't have been in a more beautiful location.

Unknown said...

I'm not frowning it's just the way that my face looks when I'm not smiling LOL. I was taking self-portraits And the wind was blowing my hair in my face but I was having a blast!

Science of being a Dork said...

You look beautiful Wen! Great pictures of yourself. I just about kissed my computer screen lol I only really think of the positive times these days, but they sure put smiles all over my heart even after all these years. If your ever feeling alone again, you don't have to be. I would always welcome hearing from you (: