Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Water for Elephant Seals

AnitaS.jpg  (32494 bytes)Fortunately, I had agreed to do an interview on the way home from Santa Barbara, because it got us out of the house early, without any much dawdling.

Anita had worked for the Lamplighters for about 9 years, arriving shortly before I left, so our terms there overlapped, briefly. She now lives near Hearst Castle, which is about a 4-5 hour drive from here, but when she volunteered to be interviewed, it was right before we were leaving for Santa Barbara and I told her that if, by chance, she was going to be available on Monday, we could stop by and interview her on the way home.


We got to her house around 11, had an interview, and then went down to a fish 'n' chips place for lunch. Cayucas is a town of about 6,000 people, we learned, and there isn't much to the town but a few shops (antique dealers and surf shops seem to be popular!) and from the dock you can see the big rock that juts out at Morro Bay.

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We also discovered that people don't pay much attention to the rules around town.

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But we had a nice visit and then Walt and I started our way back. We decided to take a detour and drove past Hearst Castle...

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You can tell when youre getting close to Hearst Castle because you see cows and zebras grazing together on the hillside, the zebras no doubt distant relatives of some of the exotic species Wm. Randolph Hearst had installed on the grounds around his famous castle.

But our destination was about 5 miles farther up the road. We were going to look at the elephant seals lying on the beach sunning themselves. There is a sign guiding you to the spot, a parking lot and a walkway that goes along the beach where you can stand and watch these huge creatures snoring away.

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However, the first time I saw these behemoths was about 25 years ago and we were driving with our friend David and his son and all of a sudden David yelled "pull over here." We had no clue why we were pulling over, but we did and when we came over the crest of the sand, there were all these sea lions just lying there. You could walk right up to them. Obviously there must have been "incidents" over the years that caused the Parks Department to install a safety walkway, which acts as a barrier between the humans and the animals. I know it's much better for both humans and sea lions, but I will never forget standing close enough to a huge bull to feel its breath on my foot as it snored!

The drive home was uneventful, the dogs were thrilled to see us, and I have a busy week ahead of me, so it's good to be back and ready to go to sleep again! Really, a very, very nice weekend!

1 comment:

phonelady said...

I think I would have been scared to death to feel that big sea lion so close to me but at the same time thrilling . i understand why they put a barrier up because they can really hurt someone if provoked . That hearst castle must be something to see in person . I wonder why he put different animals like that there conservation ? or just pleasure or enjoyment of his guests . I heard in the early years of the hearst they had quite the parties with a big hollywood name list . Oh well must be nice to live like that .