The family we met on our last night camping near Yosemite had mentioned some fabulous rock pools about 10 miles down the coast, at Fitzgerald Marine Preserve. Obviously the best time to explore the pools is at very low tide, unfortunately that happened during our week there, at around 4am each day! Instead, we opted for low tide, which was mid-afternoon. We were able to see plenty of creatures in the rock pools anyway, we would have been overwhelmed to have had even more to look at, although we could see how far out the tide would have gone, the beach/rocky area would have been huge.
There were plenty of hermit crabs and snails. Initially, we assumed they were all snails until we noticed some of them moving on legs, on closer inspection we realized just how many there were. Quite a few times, they were fighting each other, battling presumably for a new shell home, until the smaller one eventually gave up and crawled off! We saw some tiny fish, plenty of sea anemones and a really neat looking kelp crab. We also were interested in the chitons – these look kind of like fossils or overlapping shells but we read up about them on the information boards and discovered that they have, in fact, remained unchanged since dinosaurs roamed the earth.
There was a neat quote in the informational brochure from Jacques Yves Cousteau: ‘The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.’ That is so true for us; we could gaze out at the water for ages.
However, the biggest draw for us was the great number of harbor seals sunning themselves on the rocks and sandy beach. Pups are born March to May so there were a few small seals among the group. They are as little as 20lbs when born (didn’t sound so little to us!) but gain a pound a day after birth, so grow very quickly. The area they were resting in was roped off, so although we could see them, we were careful to not get too close. There was a better vantage point for viewing them up on the cliff, so we took the short hike up to get a closer look and were able to see one of the babies nursing; it was very cool.
On the way home, we stopped in at an English Fish and Chip Shop which also doubled as a pub: awesome! We had some great food, along with a pint of Boddys , followed by a Cadbury’s flake – wonderful meal (now if we had daily access to this, it would soon lose its appeal but these times are few and far between, so we’ll enjoy them while we have them)!
We were leafing through the ‘CoastViews’ magazine while we were waiting and came across a funny article by Janet Periat: A Glossary for Modern Times. Some of them made us giggle, I couldn’t begin to type them all in but here are a few, please don’t take them too seriously, if you don’t giggle, just move along:
Fast Food: 1. A food-shaped substance that imitates real food and has no nutritional value. 2. A delicious combination of salt, sugar, fat and preservatives that shortens the human life span.
Television: 1. A box that displays a lifestyle you will never be able to afford. 2. A mind-control device that makes the user feel fat, smelly, stupid and lazy. 3. A machine that eats time. 4. A device that facilitates and promotes depression.
Computer: 1. A data-processing device that rarely does what you want it to and randomly destroys data. 2. A box that sucks in money and spits out porn.
Internet: 1. A place where bad news gets endlessly recycled far past its relevance. 2. A place to connect with freaks like you. 3. A place to farm virtual land and grow virtual crops and have virtual wars without really accomplishing anything at all. (see Television and Computer.)
Public Education System: 1. A day prison for children, designed to destroy their natural curiosity and prepare them for a life of sitting at desks and following orders. 2. An underfunded institution that promotes a lifelong aversion to learning. 3. A brainwashing facility that strips participants of their innate talents, limits their choices and ensures their dependence on the system. 4. A Walmart training facility.
States visited: 49!
visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800
Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)