I thought I'd head up the coast and take a hike somewhere north of Ragged Point. I found a hike in one of my books, two miles, that started sixteen miles north of Ragged Point, so I copied the hiking description and directions and headed out. Figured I'd stop to see baby elephant seals along the way.
What I did not do is:
1) check the weather report
2) check if highway 1 is open all the way
Highway 1 tends to be closed often in the winter because of mud and rock slides. The earthquake may have had some effect this time, too. As I was coming close to Cambria I saw the first sign: highway 1 closed 16 miles north of San Simeon. I thought maybe that would change, that repairs might be made, it might be open. I headed on.
It started to rain. The rain added to what had already become a very windy day, and by the time I parked in the viewing area to see the seals it was quite stormy. I layered up my clothing and got out of the car.
I admit to liking this kind of adversity. Cold wind and water hit me when I got out, so I pulled up my hood, which immediately was blown off, so I put it up again and managed to tie the strings. My hair was all over my face, of course, and I was glad I don't worry about hair, that I don't fool with it. If I spent time getting it right each morning I can imagine that would have an effect on just what I'd be willing to do to it.
I walked along the new boardwalk along the top of the bluff, watching the seals. There weren't a lot of little ones. There were a few older ones, and there were more adults, male and female. I had thought this would be the beginning of the baby time but it looks more like it is ending. I took a few pix, doing my best not to get the camera wet (impossible), then got back in the car, soaked. My jeans don't provide any warmth in times like this.
I headed further north, stopped at Ragged Point. I remembered there were supposedly two trails there, so I thought I'd just take the one I had not taken the last time. I didn't find another, though, just a small walk along the bluff, which I did take, very pretty. I love the fog and the angry waves. The signs had warned that the highway would be closed one more mile north, so I didn't pursue it, instead headed back south. I stopped at a viewing point near Cambria, overlooking the stormy ocean, where I ate the salad I brought with me and read more of A Problem from Hell. Then on to SLO, where I stopped at the velvet foam for a latte.
Quite a little crowd in there! And the sound! All the conversations were overlapping, creating a wonderful musical sound, accompanied by radio sounds relegated to the background. I could pick out few words, even from those right near me, and that was fine. The overall effect was enough.