Saturday, April 21, 2012

I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag

Yesterday we took the day off and went up to Ano Nuevo State Park.  We're sure making good use of our $10 senior state park pass!

We  went there years and years ago and have been saying we needed to go back for as long as we've been back.  The one thing we forget (we're getting old!) was that it's a hefty hike out to those Sea Lions.

It starts out on a nice level path.  
The day was perfect, warm with a breeze.
Even though the sun was beating down on us, 
the breeze kept us comfortable.

I took a lot of pictures of this waving grass, 
no photograph can capture how beautiful it was.

This is the remains of the Point Arena, 
wrecked on the coast in 1913.
These remains were found in 1983.
You can read the story here. 

The hole made a nice frame. 

Soon, the landscape changed to this.

This fallen tree 
had these great clusters of pine cones.

I did my best to get a clear shot of this guy.
Unfortunately, the background is pretty sharp 
and the bird is fuzzy.

Finally, we were at the shore.

In years past, 
Ano Nuevo was part of the mainland.
As the earth has changed, 
it has separated from the mainland 
and become an island. 

Suddenly, the path was gone 
and we were on the sand. 
Sand fascinates me. 
This was so fine and delicate, 
so many textures and colors. 
Sparkling diamonds, 
brown earth, 
black like coal. 
Watching it move and swirl in the light breeze was amazing. 
And I needed to stop and rest! 

Further up the trail, there were small ponds.  
They were in the path and along the side. 
Tadpoles by the thousands.

Finally, we got to see some Sea Lions.
This guy was pretty far out to sea, 
but at least he was active.

It seems we hadn't done our homework.
The last time we were here was in the Fall.
That's prime mating season, 
with lots of the large bulls 
bellowing and making a ruckus on the beach.

This is molting season.
This is what a molting Sea Lion does.

They lie around 
and pretend to be washed up driftwood.

This is what the molt looks like.
It sort of moves to the surface 
and then flakes off
while the Sea Lion hangs around 
and pretend to be a log.

I had to include one "arty" shot.

This guy at least stuck his head up for a minute.

And then there was this guy.
Out of all the Sea Lions,
he was the only one who was active.

Well, at least his head and mouth were active.
Notice his bud, lying next to him.
At least he opened his eyes.

There were birds hanging out on many of the Sea Lions.
The Sea Lions didn't seem to mind.
Well, except for Butch here,
who looks like he might make a lunch of this gull.

Finally, we left the Sea Lions 
and started the trek back.
Walking on fine sand is now 
my most un-favorite thing in the whole world.
It seemed like we were walking forever, 
up one dune, 
down another.
Then we saw this  . . .

Oh no, was this to be our fate?
Lost in the sand?

We thought it was kind of strange 
to see these two skeletons among the dunes.

Weird, but interesting.
I thought the nasal cavities were kind of cool.

Finally, it looked like we were getting back to civilization.
Real foliage, and a bird that wasn't a seagull!

There were even places where you could stop and sit 
and enjoy the view.
This is a wonderful spot.

There were lots of tiny flowers at this scenic spot, 
these were my favorites.

This was shot from the same place.

FINALLY, we made it back to the car, 
to learn that the entire hike 
was most likely a bit over four miles. 

 I know there's a lot of dedicated hikers out there 
who think 4 miles is just a walk in the park.

That's not us.

Our feet hurt,
our legs hurt
and we're dog tired.

And that's why I called this entry 
"I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag"

That said,
if we're still here 
when the bulls come back in the Fall,
we'll do it again.


Gaelyn said...

Such an awesome variety of environments you walked through. One mile on sand is more like 3 miles I think. Certainly worth it to see the sea lions, even if molting.

Donna K said...

Great post Kate and LOVE the photos. Maybe "Butch" just had a toothache!! I know full well that Russ and I could not do that hike, especially the uphill parts, so kudos to you and Terry.

Jim and Sandie said...

Thanks for taking us along on that hike because we would never make it on our own. Love the sea lions - even molting and doing nothing.

Gypsy Boho said...

Loved this post. Those views you captured are beautiful.