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.
The aquarium is on the site of an old sardine canning factory. The street where it is located is called Cannery Row because it used to be a string of canneries that were here when the Monterey Bay was loaded with sardines. But we fished them out and the population crashed.
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.
Since we got a trailer, we have gone to Pinnacles National Park about once a year. This year, since we were coming up the California coast, it made more sense to visit the park from the west rather than the east. The park campground is in the east so we had to find another place to stay. The park highway is not continuous. You can approach the park from the east or the west but the only way across the park is by foot. Since we had almost always come in from the east, we decided to go from the west.
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. The peaks go all the way to San Luis Obispo and you can see several of them as you drive from SLO to Morro Bay down route 1.
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...
Retirement is great. We bought a travel trailer and are exploring National Parks. (Actually, we bought one and sold it and bought a second one better suited to us. It happens...) And I have time to do some woodworking projects and things around the house. And now I have gotten interested in ham radio so there goes any free time.