Up the Coast… Santa Barbara and Morro Bay

The morning after our visit to the Channel Islands, we headed for my old stompin’ grounds… Santa Barbara! I lived in this beautiful town for nearly four years in the early 1980s. While there I studied and got my degree at Brooks Institute of Photography (no longer in existence there) and worked numerous jobs from waitress to chauffeur (and beyond). Our very first assignment as newbie Brookies was photographing this mission with our brand new 4×5 view cameras. This images is no award winner, just shot while we were doing the “Brooks campuses (there were three… all cool), and all the places I lived” tour. Still one of the prettiest I’ve seen.

Santa Barbara, California, USA

Sant Barbara Mission

Of course we also visited the marina, and were fortunate to catch up with fellow Brookie, Steve Mason, and his wife Teri on their sailboat, Galatea. We are all live-aboard’s (Steve and Teri between Galatea and a beautiful trawler in the NW, John and I between our sailboat, Summer Breeze, and our motorhome) so there was no shortage of fun stories to share.

We also went out to a local favorite… Hendry’s Beach, where dogs are allowed off-leash. Sadie doesn’t run around and have fun like she used to, but it’s always fun to watch happy dogs running free, and there were plenty of happy dogs.

Santa Barbara, California, USA

Sunset at Arroyo Burro Beach, also known as Hendry’s Beach by locals

After a brief stay in Santa Barbara we drove to Morro Bay State Park in pouring rain and gusting winds. It was hard to judge this campground, as the weather was so foul during our stay. I will say that the site we were in was definitely not fit for big rig like ours. It’s a narrow turn getting into the site, and even when done with precision I was still scraping trees on both sides and top, and was hard pressed to put my slides out. Once settled I shook off the tight nerves and muscles from the drive while walking in the rain with John along the bordering waterfront and bay. The birds didn’t seem to mind the rain at all.

Morro Bay, California, USA

Western Grebe sleeping with one eye open

Morro Bay, California, USA

Greater Scaup and Snowy Egret

Morro Bay, California, USA

Great Blue Heron with the beginnings of breeding plumage (note “ponytail”)

Morro Bay, California, USA

Western Grebe has his sleepy eye on me!

 

The next evening, during a break in the clouds, we visited THE bay and Morro Rock. As stated in a recent post, I find faces everywhere! This one seems to be enjoying the waves lapping at his face! 😁

Morro Bay, California, USA

Waves crashing at Morro Rock

Morro Bay, California, USA

I see a face in this rock, Morro Rock

Morro Bay, California, USA

Looking north on the California coast from Morro Rock

Morro Bay, California, USA

Harbor Seal in Morro Bay

 

I soooooo wish this sport had existed when I was young! I’d have been all over it!

Morro Bay, California, USA

Kite Surfers

Morro Bay, California, USA

Kite Surfer at sunset in Morro Bay

Morro Bay, California, USA

Nearing Sunset

Morro Bay, California, USA

Waves crashing on Morro Rock at sunset

Morro Bay, California, USA

Crashing waves at sunset

 

With a slight break in the weather the following day, we headed to Montana de Oro, (near San Luis Obispo) to hike the Bluff Trail, starting at Spooners Cove. Unfortunately the weather did not hold and we got soaked while hoofing it back to the car. Worth it though. Such a pretty place!

Montana de Oro State Park, California, USA

Spooner’s Cove

Montana de Oro State Park, California, USA

Spooner’s Cove

Montana de Oro State Park, California, USA

Crashing waves in Spooner’s Cove

Montana de Oro State Park, California, USA

Water running of rock in Spooner’s Cove

Montana de Oro State Park, California, USA

Textured rock in Spooner’s Cove

Montana de Oro State Park, California, USA

Sea Anemone, Spooners Cove tide pools

Montana de Oro State Park, California, USA

Textured rocky shore of Spooner’s Cove

Montana de Oro State Park, California, USA

Shoreline and arched rock from Bluff Trail

Montana de Oro State Park, California, USA

Arched rock from Bluff Trail

Montana de Oro State Park, California, USA

View from Bluff Trail

Montana de Oro State Park, California, USA

Shoreline near Spooner’s Cove from Bluff Trail

Montana de Oro State Park, California, USA

From Bluff Trail

 

And the rain took a break again the following day, so we took a hike! Black Hill trail promised a vista, and low and behold…

Morro Bay, California, USA

Looking south from Black Hill Trail

Morro Bay, California, USA

Morro Rock from Black Hill Trail

Fran Reisner, Morro Bay, California, USA

With my favorite hiking buddy at the top of Black Hill 😁

While camped at Morro Bay we also took the time to drive up to Hearst Castle… John’s first tour, and my third. It is an impressive place for sure. I view it as more of an art museum than a castle, since a most of the furnishings, wall art and architectural detail is collection European antiques and art pieces. Here’s a quick tour…

… Oh wait! That’s my next post! 😜

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