This place just south of Monterey on the Californian coast must rate as some of the most spectacular shoreline scenery in the world. Not only was the autumn weather just glorious, the wildlife was plentiful. We saw harbour seals, sea lions, otters, pelicans, gulls, egrets and cormorants. A feast for the soul.
It was a gorgeous autumn afternoon in Morro Bay and we took a stroll around town before having a meal with sunset views.
This memorial seat is pretty impressive. Nick must have been a rev-head extraordinaire to warrant a bench like this.
This morning, we faced towards the east and took (roughly) the direction of Route 58 to Mojave before heading north on 14 towards Ridgecrest where we’re staying the night before going to Death Valley tomorrow.
Today was solar farms and squirrels and even drier landscape than yesterday. We passed by place names like Pumpkin Center and Weed Patch Highway and saw our first Joshua Trees. Where irrigation is possible during the drought, we saw dairy cattle, grapevines and peach trees. Wind turbines are working well in these wide open spaces.
We stopped off near Mojave to eat some lunch and watched this long freight train pass through. Behind us was the Mojave graveyard of 747 planes.
Red Rock Canyon gave us a taste of what we might see tomorrow as we venture north and further inland.
We’re cruising around for a week with no fixed plans until next Wednesday when I lob into Asilomar, near Monterey, for a few days. After a late arrival into Oakland last night, we set off in a rental car to motor down the spectacular coastline that includes the legendary Big Sur.
You’re nobody unless you’re driving a Mustang convertible along this route. I was playing Ford Focus Sally with the wind from the car vents blowing through my hair. It was a magnificent experience, despite the lack of an apparently compulsory rented Mustang.
Pigface plants and the invasive pampas grass seemingly hold the coastal cliffs together (that, and wire netting to prevent rocks sliding onto the road). California has been in drought for the past 4 years and the landscape is showing it. Many trees are in severe stress and the grasslands are very dry.
On the wildlife front, we caught sight of a number of Stellar’s Jays as well as a hummingbird. Much of the coastline is protected and many pelicans and elephant seals call this stretch home.