Few weeks ago I headed north towards San Luis Obispo. Never went into said town. Visited a friend in Los Osos, a little town on the edge of Morro Bay.
I’ll be back along this path again. Ventura to Los Osos. Headed north up the coast, past Santa Barbara, veered off the freeway and took Hwy 1. Not a time saver but that’s O.K.
Wound along past verdant hills speckled with farms:
A road passes west towards the ocean, here, to Point Conception. The lighthouse is on private property from what I can tell. But I hear the coastline is rugged and beautiful. Enticing? Yes. Mission La Purisima Conception is close by. Often a living history site, I’ll be sure to stop in next time out.
A spot on the Gazetteer map book intrigued me. Guadalupe Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge.
Incredible place. Part of an 18 mile stretch of multiple coastal dune preserves it’s considered a true “refuge” to over 100 species of rare/endangered flora and fauna. 1 .8 miles of beach sand blow into dunes that creep inland. Rare birds, including the Snowy Plover nest there.
- Depression era “Dunites,” a culture of writers, hermits, artists, nudists and astrologers, lived in driftwood shacks amongst the dunes.
- Likely the largest silent film set, from the 1923 -Ten Commandments movie, buried “ancient Egypt” after the movie was filmed. It’s yet unexcavated.
- Likewise, a failed attempt at turn of the 20th century tourism doomed beach cottages and a wharf to burial in the dunes.
Here, a gathering of birds. The waves were HUGE that day, something these pics don’t show well:
Roped off dunes. Fragile, they shelter rare birds. No flowers yet:
A bum leg. Never stood on it:
Pried myself away and headed down the road.
Grabbed coffee in teeny Baywood Park.
Meandered to the Sweet Springs Nature Preserve, courtesy of the Morro Coast Audubon Society. Walked the boardwalk, observed egrets and other birds. I’ve placed a BINOCULARS on my list of gadgets needed. Plunked down on a wooden bench, at the edge of Morro Bay, under some Eucalyptus trees (have I mentioned how much I love their scent?) and just watched. Night took over. Things got quiet, birds puttered around the shallow water/muck, I could hear the crashing Pacific waves just over the sand spit. Kind of made me want to keep that sound close. New emotions.