We went to Monterey to wander around the Elkhorn Slough then Point Lobos. I added the aquarium to the mix so we extended out stay by one night. When we got up there we discovered that the Slough was closed on Mondays AND Tuesdays. What's up with that? We stayed on Cannery Row because it was convenient and had parking. I have to say the row is really touristy and has little that you would not find say in Morro Bay. Admittedly the Morro Bay Embarcadero is more happening with a smidge less cheese. Cannery Row though has the aquarium which is really cool, if not pricey. We did wander away from the row and found it fun if not closed up a bit. There is a lot more to do nature-wise if you plan for it and have the time (and better lungs than I). I'm glad we went even if I was a teeny-tiny disappointed. We will return to the are with a better plan. It's super pretty and some really awesome tortas can be found not too far away.
Sadly, we a-go-gos simply did not go anywhere this year. Not really. Chalk it up to bad timing and my stinking allergies but we did manage to squeeze in two days up the coast to wander around the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Pt. Lobos, and ridiculously good Oaxacan/Mexican eats at La Tortuga Torteria in Seaside, California. So good we almost went back the next day for more but I had a hankering for a diner burger and was completely satisfied with the goods from the Nifty 50 Cafe also in Seaside. Here are some snapshots from the aquarium proper...because...cuttlefish!
We a-go-gos managed to get up for a hike after not hiking for far too long. We drove up to Santa Margarita and along highway 58 to the Rinconada Trail in the Los Padres National Forest. it's not difficult (I could muster it...somewhat) but it does start you off going up, up, up. Phew!
This was before the rain so who knows what it looks like right now. I like the colors in the grass. With all the up, up, up it was nice to have a few resting places for those of us with sad lungs.
We didn't continue once we hit this summit of sorts. It was a bit gustier than usual and my wheeze was a bit wheezier. It was beginning to warm up and well...I got hungry.
Eee! I love fat little acorns. There were acorns everywhere and surprisingly we did not hear many birds. Go figure.
The gate was locked but you can step through on the left there. Just past the gate is where the big oak tree was. It was open and really pretty. Windy and gusty as well but really pretty.
The view as you near the top is ridiculously pretty. This is not a summertime hike as there is not much trail shade. We did this hike two weeks ago and it got warm even though it was a bit early in the morning. I got a bit too much glare in the photos but it was clear enough to see layers and layers of hills, valleys, and trees. Going back down was actually more trying for me than going up. It is semi-steep, easy to traverse, not too much loose rock...I just have middle-aged knees. Once we made it back to the small parking lot, we refilled out water bottles and headed out for a breakfast burrito from Frank's in SLO.
We had an end of the year visit from L.A. friends who mange to hit our town once or twice a year. Even so, they had never been out to Los Osos or Morro Bay and so we packed them into the back of Eleanor and headed out. Our first stop was a wee grove of eucalyptus in the tiny town of Los Osos to see if there were any monarchs in residence. The numbers here tend to be very low but this was the first time I saw more than a handful. If you stand still long enough you realize you are surrounding by the pretties. Even when the butterflies are not in residence, this wee grove marks a pretty path that heads out towards the morro bay sand dunes.