Saturday, January 30, 2016

October 6, 2015 Redwood Trees, Beautiful Beaches, Purple Sand & Elephant Seals On PCH

We started our day with a hike to Pfeiffer Falls in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Our first close encounter with Redwood trees.

Unfortunately no close encounters with this local resident...

...but these locals greeted us.

A huge Redwood tree.

Pfeiffer Falls

Interesting little waterfall. Tried framing it different ways for my own amusement.

Christy walking among the ancient Coastal Redwoods.

Our next stop was Andrew Molera State Park...

...we hiked to the beach on the aptly named Beach Trail.

Here's some breaking news...the California Coast has some really nice beaches.

Yes, you can hike from sea level to 1400' in this state park.

An artistic collection of driftwood compliments of Mother Nature.

I just wanted to take a picture.

We saw this bird everywhere. Well not this exact bird but this type of bird. I am pretty sure it is a turkey vulture.

After exploring the beach, we hiked back on the Creamery Meadow Trail...

...which was more scenic than the Beach trail.

But Chrissy had to risk life and limb to cross this raging river.

The next stop was tricky to find but well worth the unmarked single lane two directions road which drops quickly from PCH to this amazing beach. I pulled over on the way down to give a young couple on the way up the right of way. She stopped and gave me their pass so we didn't have to pay to park. I guess one good deed brought on a second one.

This beach had amazing scenery in all directions...

...including it's famous purple sand.

Finally some waves. The ocean has been pretty calm most of this trip.

This is a huge beach. I lost Chrissy for awhile. We both took a lot of pictures walking around for over an hour and a half.

Some beach graffiti in the purple sand.

I found Chrissy.

There are lots of rock formation just off the shore here.

Playing with a fish-eye lens to shrink the distance between these rocks.

Some shots somewhere along the coast between Pfeiffer Beach and Mill Creek Picnic Area.

We tried to stop at Julia Pfeiffer State Park but the parking lot was full and so were the sides of the PCH. So we continued south because it was getting late and we had a long way to go before we got to Pismo Beach for the night.

Running what...let's check this place out.

Jackpot...we have this beach to ourselves and the first thing I find is a beautiful memorial for a young woman who died here in an accident and her family donated her organs so several other people could live. This made me shed a few tears and feel good at the same time.

I think we passed Sand Dollar Beach at first then decided to turn around and stop here...another good decision.

Another huge beach and this one was full of surfers even though it's a good walk from the parking lot and down about three flights of stairs.

The view from the staircase...

...a cool collection of decals cover the warning sign.

Once again we just walked up and down the beach...

...enjoying being here, loving the sweet smell of salt water in the air and playing in the surf.

Some fat guy that wishes he knew how to surf.

It appears that a storm might be rolling in...

...but not long after this stop, the sun came back out just in time to set.

Another artistic photograph of natural forces by Chrissy.

I guess my photo was also created by natural forces.

Another stop somewhere south of Sand Dollar Beach and north of San Simeon.

Birds everywhere.

After a quick stop here, we headed to the Elephant Seal Rookery at Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve.

This place is incredible. There is a walkway just above the beach that allows you access to views like the ones posted here.

Northern Elephant seals are everywhere along this beach.

The youngsters are sparing to strengthen themselves...

...and practicing for when they are old enough challenge the big males for mating rights.

The setting sun lit up beach with a wonderful golden hue. A perfect way to end a beautiful day exploring the central coast of California. We stayed in Pismo Beach right on the ocean and right down the street was the Ventana Grill. If you are in the area, stop here and eat dinner. Trust me on this one...easily the best meal we've had so far on this trip.