After visiting family and friends in the Bay Area we head for the coast. It's a windy day as we take to the backroads of the Santa Cruz mountain, exploring and avoiding freeways, on our way to the sea.
After leaving the mountains, heavy sheets of rain and wild bursts of wind are with us much of the way. And, just for our driving pleasure, dense fog blankets the road from time-to-time as well. Branches blow across our path, sometimes an entire tree occupies a lane. The surf, wild and dangerous, is on our right swirling and broiling. We sway and swing in Thistle as we grope our way down the Big Sur coast highway. On our left the high cliffs slide onto the road as the heavy rain weakens them. The only thing that could make the driving more dangerous is night-time dark, and it was approaching quickly. As we drive, I check each pull-out as a potential boondock site. We're not sure the campground we seek, Limekiln State Park, will have sites available or even if it is open for the season.
The park is open and we have a spot to camp. We are happy as we settle in. The pounding of wind and rain accompany our dinner preparations and on Ed's short walk to register us he got soaked. Our reward for a hard day's drive is popcorn. Aw, the good life! Of course being dry and warm and cozy are high on our list of pleasures too.
When we wake, after a night of heavy wind and rain, the sky is blue and the wind is gone. A short-lived pleasure, just long enough for the dog to pee, before the rains begin again. California needs this rain so we are happy with it but we're even more happy we aren't in a tent like the folks camped next to us.
Limekiln State Camp is small with only 24 spaces. There is a rustic charm to this camp right on the ocean, tucked in under a Highway 1 bridge. Don't even think about cell service though.
As we head to Morro Bay the sun comes out.
Along our route we stop to view Elephant Seals at the Piedras Blancas rookery. Although they are never all there at the same time, the estimated population is 23,000. Males grow to 5,000 lbs., females to 1800; and pups are born at 60 to 80 lbs. but when weaned at 28 days they will already weigh between 250 and 350 lbs.
“The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.”
~ Rachel Carson