The Bay at Night, Morro Bay, California
Even after all this time there are still images that can be taken of Morro Bay that hold magic for me. These images were take of Morro Bay well after the sun had set using a 5D Mark II with a wonderful 50mm 1.2 Lens. Really it’s just a bay with a wonderful Embarcadero that is still always changing. I grew up vacationing here and I think that I would be happy to continue escaping to Morro Bay for years to come so long as it doesn’t loose it’s small town feel.
Morro Bay is just a small drive from California’s Central Valley and well worth the trip to escape from the winter fog or hot summer heat.
After a quick meal at “Whales Tale” that once was near Anchor Park in Morro Bay, we drove down to the wharf and walked our boxer up and down the street to get her wiggles out and enjoy some of the nice, fresh, sea air. Stopping as often as possible take the images that you see here.
Canon Beach, Oregon
Our first view of the Pacific Ocean while on vacation was Cannon Beach, Oregon, I think that labeling it the Morro Bay of Oregon would be appropriate as it seems very popular with the locals but has somehow maintained it’s small town charm. Coming from Tigard earlier the same day the difference in temperature was shockingly different and a welcome change to our average California Central Valley Day.
Haystack Rock add’s focus to the Cannon Beach landscape and seems to be a central gathering point for photographers such as myself as the sun edges itself towards the horizon. Near the rock there are a number of tide pools to look into when the tide is out. For those willing to listen a learning center, Friends of Haystack Rock, finds it’s place at the rock while the tide pools are exposed in hopes of providing protection for the life that inhabits the tide pools through education. The tide pools were interesting to me, besides the life which could be found within they offer many photographic opportunities, especially if you have the right equipment for it.
Weekend Vacation in Cambria
A weekend in Cambria, California would be enough to slow anyone down, the small town atmosphere and late summer fog is exactly the reason that many people find themselves heading over to the coast to get a reprieve from the sometimes suffocating summer heat in the Valley. Cambria offers a small town in their downtown ready to cater to anyone looking for antiques or a couple of art shops. Just a short trip up scenic highway 1 you can see Hearst Castle former home of W.R. Hearst newspaper tycoon. My images from a prior visit to Hearst Castle can be seen here.
Day 1: San Ramon, Ca to Eureka, Ca
For the most part today was spent in the car, after completing the work needing to be done for work we took off and threw all to the wind, hoping to find some rest and relaxation along the road to Eureka. Though the weather was what most would call hot we spent most of the day marveling at how cool it was. Few stops were made except to trade drivers and get the fuel that we needed to continue on.
The highlights for the day, besides getting away from work and being on vacation included the traditional crossing of the Golden Gate Bridge to symbolize the starting of our summer vacation, lower fuel prices, and a toilet in the middle of the field. It’s obvious that a toilet in the middle of a field would obviously be a strange highlight for a day’s journey however this toilet is the subject of many laughs for Katherine and I and has held it’s current location for quite some time, at least 4 years that Katherine and I are aware.
Arriving in Eureka right near dinner time we made plans to find a place in Eureka and that we did, straying form highway 101 just enough to find their downtown area we found a nice, almost family style, restaurant right next to their bay. Walking in we were kindly greeted and quickly ushered to a place that we could dine. This being the first time that we were near the ocean since our normal January trip we elected to have fish and chips with a small side of clam chowder, tradition for us when we are near the sea. Just as a plug for those that find themselves wandering through Eureka I would suggest Cafe Waterfront Oyster Bar or any of the of their downtown establishments for dinner.
Upon the completion of dinner we walked around Eureka briefly and then proceeded on to our destination KOA for the night. Vacation for us comes with a tent, at least that is the way that we have continued to pursue vacation, there is no better place in our opinion while traveling up the California, Oregon and Washington coasts than Kampgrounds of America or for those that most often frequent them KOA. With the KOA’s as our normal spot we can assure a place to sleep and a place to catch the much needed shower, and usually internet, by which I plan to post this entry.
Snacks for the trip included dried peaches, nectarines, banana’s, and apricots.
Monterey Bay (Aquarium) Day 2
Though a little too busy for me, the second day at the Monterey bay aquarium was quite an experience, instead of worrying about getting around to all o the different exhibits and learning about some of the ocean life there, I was able to again visit the locations that I wanted to see again and watch other people as they interacted with that exhibit for the first time, or children getting excited about something they were able to once again see.
With a change in the weather today the tanks that received their light from the sun were much better lite allowing many to better see the color of the fish, and more activity from the fish responding to the increased levels of light. The balconies across the sea side of the aquarium were also much more heavily frequented today by everyone, glad to have a place somewhat sheltered from the wind to look across the sun filled bay with birds and a couple of boats to attract interest.
The Big Aquarium at Monterey offers the ability to see some of the ocean life that is in the open water, and how they interact with the other fish belonging to that location. Rays, Sharks, Ocean Sun Fish, barracudas, and different kinds of tuna, all were found in this tank, all taking different positions in the tank, with a school of mackerel amongst them all. The most exciting fish in the exhibit for the youngsters in the room was the Hammerhead Shark, who’s trips across the aquarium glass was infrequent but brought from the young boy shouts of awe.
Near the big tank was the Jelly Fish exhibit, though this exhibit doesn’t change much on a day to day basis, it was nice to have the correct photo equipment to photograph these creatures. Featured with a blue back ground and a pale pink light the jelly fish stood out wonderfully for photographs. The jelly fish’s smooth movement very calming and almost hypnotic to watch I found myself taking many pictures, and just standing and watching until I had completely lost track of time.
Today, at least initially, the Sea Otters were much more relaxed at the top of the tank, sleeping and preening themselves, though this wasn’t as exciting for the youngsters looking for something fast moving or dangerous to look at, it was exciting for me. I have many times photographed wild Otter with their pup’s in the Morro Bay and found it exciting to see the Otter doing what I have often seen.
Opening on April 9th 2009 the Monterey Bay Aquarium will be host to a Sea Horse exhibit. Providing yet another small attraction for tourists and youngsters alike, another learning opportunity for everyone.
Monterey Bay (Aquarium) Day 1
Monterey Bay Aquarium was our destination today as we traveled to Cannery Row. Though not my first time to the Steinbeck romanticized area it was my first time to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The wet afternoon had chased away many of the people that would otherwise have been at the aquarium allowing an almost unobstructed view of nearly every exhibit.
Knowing that we were somewhat short on time I found myself almost hurriedly going from exhibit to exhibit trying to take in as much of the sights as possible before it was time to leave, forgetting the fact that we had two days to take in the sights and information presented at the aquarium.
It what felt like a single breath and a single thought I went from exhibit to exhibit until I had nearly seen them all. Worn out by the effort put forth to see everything at the Aquarium so quickly, I took a short retreat to the rain soaked balcony along the ocean front side of the aquarium, a breath of fresh air and an opportunity to relax. With thirty minutes left to look through the aquarium we found ourselves looking through exhibits detailing the life of jelly fish. On the way out of the aquarium stopping to get a couple additional photographs of the jelly fish.
We then went to dinner at a restaurant which serves perhaps the best clam chowder I have ever had. The Fish Hopper in monterey offer a large selection of other fine foods but I have yet to try any of those, the taste of the clam chowder haven’t let me move on.