Monday, July 4, 2016

Big Sur: Elephant Seals and Hiking

Camille and I decided to spend time south of our yurt on Thursday and go up to the northern end of the Big Sur coast on Friday.  We started with a short hike, about a mile in total.  There was a fairly steep climb and then it leveled out high above the ocean.  The view would have been spectacular, we are sure, but we couldn't see the ocean through the fog.  Camille was disappointed.  She loves a good view.  I figured it was payback for the steep climb.  I took it slowly and carefully with my injured foot and did just fine.  But I did have to tease her about it anyway.

The second hike was not as steep and followed a busy stream up to a waterfall cascading into a deep pool.
This was my view
I couldn't clamber over the rocks to see the pool, but Camille didn't have any trouble at all.

This was Camille's view (and photo) after climbing over the rock mountainside.

My foot was doing pretty well on a nice flat trail with a few small boulders scattered here and there; climbing over massive boulders was not going to happen.

We continued south to San Simeon.  Across the highway from Hearst Castle is a beach where elephant seals hang out.  These guys are huge.  The males weigh 5,000 lbs.

The seals rest on the beach to gather strength after their long journeys at sea.

They spend 90% of their time in the water, fishing, up the coast of California into Alaska.  Their main predator is white sharks and many of the seals had scars from close encounters with the Great Whites.

The beach was full of sound; the bull seals bellowing and slamming into each other, chest to chest.  The moms dozed; occasionally flipping warm sand over themselves while the youngsters slept nearby.  Occasionally, one would flop itself into the surf.

We finished off the morning with lunch at Moonstone beach at a little place my mom loved.  She used to love walking on the beach there and then having lunch at the cafe.  It was a nice way to include her on our mother-daughter trip; even if it was only in spirit.


  1. That sounds like a wonderful day. I love that pool!

  2. How fun--a mother daughter trip!! I want to do that!!

  3. An American in TokyoJuly 7, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    Wow, elephant seals! Too cool!
    It's nice that you are passing on the tradition of your Mom's lunch spot to your daughter, and maybe on again to the next generation of your family in the future! =)


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