Monday, February 26, 2007

Time with the Monsters

I haven't posted much lately, and I think it's the uncertainty. To recap; we spent about a week or more in San Francisco, never knowing from day to day when the RV would be repaired. We spent the time hopping from one photo opportunity to another, and luckily, San Francisco has a lot of those. The trick of getting some solid writing done during this is to make sure that Mary Ann has a rich photo location where she can walk around -- a hike through Muir Woods, time in the SF Botanical Gardens, or on Treasure Island, getting cityscape views. Just driving around is a bit more stressful and after the first day, I turned the driving over to Mary Ann. While I love cruising the highways, in-town city driving is not my thing.

But they fixed the RV finally, and we headed directly to San Simeon. It is elephant seal season and there is a beach there where you can spend some wonderful quality time with the monsters.

I use the term deliberately. It's mating season, and a male elephant seal is one serious monster. A monster with a dopey face, it's true, but seeing one charge another to protect its territory and its harem is a visceral experience. These things are 5,000 pounds each and move across the beach at a remarkable pace like rippling giant slugs. People are seperated from them by only a small fence and a small cliff that it just too tall for them to try to scale. It's not like the zoo experience at all, where the creatures are in their cage and the keepers are watching you. Here, people are on the top of the cliff, but the seals are in their element on the beach and in the water. This is their place and we just come to watch and to try to stay out of their way.

Check Mary Ann's blogs for photos and stuff. She's doing a better job of travel narration than I am right now. The end of the this journey is in sight and it's dampening both our spirits.

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