12.14.2014

2 nights in Morro Bay

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to Morro Bay, CA as part of a field studies trip.  I previously went to the Eastern Sierra and then Death Valley on other field study trips and it was nice to visit the central coast while doing this one.  T and I went to Cal Poly and lived in San Luis Obispo for five years.  Every time I visit that area I miss it and this was no exception.  We had fabulous weather, the students were AMAZING, and I got to learn and explore new places on the central coast.

Our first stop was Coal Oil Point in Santa Barbara where we learned about the snowy plover, grey whale migration, coal seep, water basins, and a ton of other things.  It was a truly inspiring place and one of the really cool things about it was that UCSB (who owns the land) is working on keeping the beach open to the public while also working on all these preservation efforts.


We were camping and stayed at the Morro Bay State Park group campsite.  It was separated from the other sites with the golf course on one side and a view of the Los Osos and the estuary on the other.


Day two was filled and after breakfast and packing a lunch we hiked Black Hill to get a panoramic view of the area. We learned about the physical geography, the ancient volcanic activity, and a little history of the famous smoke stacks power plant.  


Our next stop was the Elfin Forest, where all the flora has been stunted because of the growing conditions. The forest spreads over ninety acres and has eight different eco systems.  Here is a photo of the group under the stunted Coastal Live Oak grove.  The blond on the right was my driving buddy Joel.  He was rad and totally photo bombed my photo here.

Next we stopped on the Embarcadero for a little urban / cultural geography.  We found an injured seal and Mo called wildlife rescue while the students explored the cute beach shops.  It was an perfectly beautiful day.

From the Embarcadero we went to The Rock for a geography lecture and to see the Peregrine Falcons that live on The Rock and the Sea Otter Nursery.  The wind had picked up and it was cold out there! Here you can just make out the male falcon.

And here is Joel, chain walking after the geology lecture.  He is a rock climber, can you tell?  Every rope, chain, and fence post was calling his name.  As a person who trips over her own feet, I was a little jealous of his balancing techniques.

 That evening we played two truths and a lie and the next morning we packed up camp before visiting the estuary boardwalk and the harbor.


This was one of my favorite field study trips.  The students were truly fantastic.  Our weather couldn't have been better and Mo organized everything so well.  Everyone worked together to make the trip a success and I was glad I got to be part of it!  Now should I do the one this summer to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks?

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