Saturday, July 17, 2010

Beach break

With temperatures hovering near the triple digit mark Alice and I headed for the coast and ocean breezes to cool off with a hike around the Ano Nuevo State Park.

The park is famous for its elephant seal population and at the the entrance gate we were told there was one on the beach.  We headed out along the sandy trail passing through fields of wild grass, thistle and some colorful plants that lined the trail.  An eerie abandoned lighthouse station sat on a small island covered with thousands of birds and the barks of seals resting on the island's rocks.

Off in the distance we could hear the bellows of the elephant seals echoing off the cliffs.  Rounding a bend we could see a dozen or more of the large lumbering animals taking a much deserved nap on the beach while other swam offshore and challenged each other to show of dominance.  A few seals on the beach woke from the slumber to battle others on land making for some interesting views.

It was a great hike far from the sweltering valley heat.  We will have to think of another coastal excursion as we keep the heat at bay in the summer hikes.

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