For four days, I toured around Morro Bay with my good friend Joni. It was a perfect transition for my solo trip.
Morro Bay is a relatively quiet area with so much to see. This is my second time there and I chose to start my trip here (even before Joni decided to join me) because it was familiar territory. For some reason, I feel safer in places I have been before. I know, that is a false sense of security. My favorite location was Montano de Oro State Park. The Bluff Trail came highly recommended in our research and it didn’t disappoint. Many of these coastal locations warn users about poison oak, I googled a photo and saved it to my phone before the trip. Shortly after starting the walk, I mentioned poison oak to Joni and -almost instantly she spotted a three-leaf vine. I pulled up my google image of poison
oak-it was a perfect match. Check. One item off my list of what to identify, now, I can avoid it.
We continued along the bluff trail taking every side trail possible to take in the rugged view of the Pacific Ocean. I was scouting for sunset shots when I heard a scream. Looking at Joni (where the sound came from) sitting on a ledge, I thought she was calling to the cormorants. Then she exclaimed, “I dropped my phone!” That is one of those stomach dropping moments. She pointed down from the ledge to a 25+ foot drop to where it had fallen (not visible) and asked, “Do you think I can get down there?” It was a good 25+ foot scramble down to the area but the route looked doable. So, she did. Safely, she scooted on her butt and found her phone. It landed face down on rock and did not appear to be damaged. Good ole iPhone! Now for the difficult scramble up but not before I took a few snapshots of her! She scrambled up like a pro and had her phone. I have to admit, while she was scrambling for her phone, I thought, this is when people call 911 to be rescued… I’m glad we didn’t have to call.
We spent hours walking Bluff trail and I found a spot to photograph sunset. After hiking many miles, we came across a ground squirrel in our path. He was running ahead of us until he stopped in his tracks. There was a stick in front of him…wait, no, it was a rattlesnake. I live in Arizona and never see rattlesnakes, but come to the California coast and we found one on our second day. I grabbed a photo while he scurried off the trail. We took a short break in the car for snacks and then returned to the tidepools of Corallina Cove for low tide.
I could have spent hours at the tide pools. Even more than the images, listening to the waves crash with the incoming tide and watching the ebb and flow of the pools mesmerized me. Photographing sea urchins, barnacles and a crab kept me entertained for two hours. When photographing the crab, I broke all the rules and hand held my 60mm macro lens with my arms extended to position the camera closer to the crab. Extending my arms away from the body increases the chance of camera shake which could result in blur, but when I moved my body closer to the crab, he hid in his hole. The only
choice was to extend my arms and use the LCD panel to frame my shot. It worked.
This was my first photo journey with a non-photographer. Most of my photo journeys are with my husband who has an art degree, or my good friend and fellow photog, Vicki Uthe. I can stop anywhere for photos and they join me or entertain themselves in the nature that surrounds them. I wasn’t sure how it would go with Joni, but she was prepared. When she remembered her book and a blanket, she found a nice spot to relax, or she found a rock to sit on and enjoyed the view. I was free to photograph to my hearts content. During the rest of our camping in Morro Bay, we walked the boardwalk of the Elfin forest to view pygmy oak trees, ate spectacular Mexican food at Taco Temple…twice. With food that good, you may as well go twice. Took a day road trip to Monterey to visit Joni’s friend. This prompted another great meal but instead of Mexican, we had clam chowder and fresh fish. Yum. Here is the tally on backing in my teardrop trailer – I am 2 and 0, meaning I’ve had 2 successful back-ins and didn’t have to drive around the campground for a new attempt at backing up.
Bluff Trail is beautiful, and I’ve never seen a crab up that close. What a crazy looking guy! I like Morro Bay!
The crab was the highlight of my day!