Monday, May 18, 2015


We moved on up CA 1 to Washburn campground in San Simeon State Park – not bad at $20 for the ‘primitive sites.’  I guess we must be primitive people, because we loved it with the widely spaced sites and hardly anybody there. 

There were two highlights near this stop.  About 8 miles north of the state park, is a viewpoint where you can see something truly amazing.

At this time of the year, thousands of Elephant Seals, consisting of females and juveniles, crowd the beach.  Since they spend 10 months at sea, they use this time to rest.

They like to cover themselves in sand, but I guess they can’t do that while they’re on their backs.  I hope they don’t get sunburned bellies.

They also molt, shedding a layer of skin and hair and growing new.  They look pretty messy during this process.

They don’t waste any energy.  Although every once in a while one gets the urge to move,  the energy surge doesn’t last long.

And we laughed at how they take the most direct route, regardless of who's in the way.

Sometimes a mild argument breaks out, but they don’t hold a grudge.

Just look at that precious face.

The older juvenile males (I guess that makes them teenagers) practice sparring in preparation for the mating battles in their future. They are just beginning to develop the large proboscis (long nose), the trademark of the male elephant seal.

You have to wonder what they think about all the tourists.  Once again, I seem to be getting the stink eye.

The other big attraction in the area is Hearst Castle.  I had taken the tour years ago and didn’t really want to go again, so Ron went alone.  Since he didn’t take the camera, I’ll just point you to Diana’s blog post on it.  Click here.

But I do have one related picture.  During Ron’s tour, he heard about the animals Mr. Hearst had imported for his guests’ entertainment.  He remembered that the guide said the zebras hang out just north of San Simeon State Park and you can see them from CA 1.  And sure enough, there they were.  How exciting!


  1. I love those videos! But I'd rather take a bath in water, thank you.

  2. Great shots of the elephant seals ... they are amazing creatures.

  3. I wonder if Jimmy Durante was an elephant seal in a previous life... ;c)

  4. AWWW love this post with all the critters, and the zebras look great against the green pasture.

  5. I think they are so big and fat and cute. Noisy and smelly also but still so much fun to watch. You got great pictures.