While were so close to Monterey on our California coast trip, we decided to take a day and go to Monterey to see the fabulous Monterey Bay Aquarium. We have been to many aquariums (aquaria?) but none is better than this one.
From Morro Bay, we went to Fruitdale, and stayed at a KOA which positioned us to go easily to Monterey, Pinnacles, and home. The KOA was like a lot of RV Parks, mostly pads for trailers with little greenery or separation from your neighbors. This park was almost all paved with what seemed like a lot of permanent or at least long term campers. It seems that there are more and more long term campers in RV Parks.
After being in Pismo Beach, which was rather disappointing, we went to Morro Bay and had a great time there. This first photo is Morro Rock, 578 feet high, from the top of Black Hill, 661 feet high. We all know that Morro Rock is at the mouth of the Morro Bay harbor and is one big rock sticking out of the water at the shoreline. It is actually one of a set of volcanic peaks that remain after erosion has done its thing in this area.
Anacapa Island is the smallest of the islands that you can visit by ferry and the closest to the mainland. This view is of an arch that you see as you approach and, of course, leave the island by ferry boat. The ferry boats are a service of Island Packers, who do a great job of getting you to and from the islands safely. We were on the ferry with 6 other "regular" tourists like us, and three large groups of school age kids who provided plenty of "energy" for the trip.
Our next visit along the California coast was to the Channel Islands. We visited the visitor center in Ventura when we first looked for a place to move to in California, and we didn't have time to see the Channel Islands. This trip provided us with the time to visit them. There are eight channel islands, five of which are in the National Park, so named because they are in the Santa Barbara Channel.
We took a camping trip to the central California coast. We started by driving to Burbank to visit with our son, then headed north up the coast. Our first stop was at Carpinteria State Beach. Our real interest in this park was that it is close to Ventura where we caught the boat to Channel Islands National Park. More on that trip later...
We started the day by going to Split Rock and taking the 2 mile loop there. We were told that there were still wildflowers there, and the report was right. Although they were not stunning, there was a lot of variety and flowers all along the trail.
We went out to Keys View for a great look toward Coachella Valley and beyond. If the smog were less, you can see to Mexico, but there was enough haze to limit visibility. Still a great view.
We spent the weekend at Bodega Dunes campground, part of Sonoma Coast State Beach. We haven't been camping in our trailer since October and we wanted to get out there.
Bodega Dunes is just north of Bodega Bay. There are hiking trails from the campground that go to the beach and over the dunes which are extensive. For many of the trails, you share the trail with horses so we were selective about the trails we took. On the first day, we went to the beach for sunset.
Lava Beds National Monument is in northeast California. We visited it as a day trip while we were staying in Weed for a few weeks. It's a long drive there and back, but we enjoyed it. The key feature there is the lava tubes formed when the laval flowed over this area. There are other featiures having to do with human history but we didn't have time to view them.