Melody and I had a plan to get back to Big Sur to catch the sun setting through the keyhole rock formation at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Beach. I really wanted to see this in action, which only happens once a year when the sun aligns with the hole just perfectly. We would eventually come back earlier this year as well with some fantastic results. I was also talking about the elephant seals in an earlier post, and when we planned to arrive they were out in full force. We missed the major action with the larger seals really claiming their own territory, but there were still battle scars and other interesting activity to watch as well. Although these are not the most dominant males, there was action like this where you still see how testy these creatures are.
Here is another shot of of a pretty vicious bit on another seal. You can see all the scarring the results as well, which shows you that they are not playing around.
Here is one of the larger of the bunch, a very interesting animal. I am going to have to come back during the real action, when all the males claim their territory to truly understand some of the behaviors of these animals.
Our plan that day was to just pick out a campsite and see if the weather would turn and give us something to photograph. We were pleasantly surprised to see that the clouds were all up, but I didn’t really know if it was going to be a light show that I would anticipate. Most of my images don’t have the perfect and ideal weather when I shoot, but this night turned out to be a real gem. I ended up stoping at plenty of locations on the way as the golden hour progressed.
We headed to Julia Pfeiffer State Park to scope out McWay falls. Here is a shot with the light just kissing the edges of the beach.
And the final show, the shy ended up bursting with color and I really didn’t know if I should just stand and enjoy or frantically take the photos. I of course chose the latter and still enjoyed the final product.
After the sun set, we ended up going back to our nice little campground by Andrew Molera State Park at the fern wood resorts. This was very different from the coastal views that I had before, but it was just as spectacular.
The following morning we decided to venture off to some tide pools in the area as our hike for the day. We ended up stopping at a lot of rocky and coastal areas with sea anemones, sea urchins and the like.
We also met this fellow, who had spent the night there the previous night and was just vacationing from the city with his friends as well.
We also decided to to a quick hike in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to view the redwoods and headed off of the Valley View Trail.
Here, we ended up finding a few banana slugs on our way to the viewpoint.
And as the sun was still rising, we were able to see these cool sun rays.
We ended up heading to Julia Pfeiffer State Park to just do some scouting and also a little hike along the beach. There weren’t that many people there at the time, but we did see this guy playing around with his little furry friends.
Melody on our way back to the keyhole after our quick, cold hike.
Although the conditions weren’t perfect, the hole didn’t end up glowing the red embers that I wanted to see, it was still a cool experience and a good lesson on where I should go the following year.