Woke up to hot waffles smothered in maple syrup and vanilla ice cream – excellent. Murdock, our host, was awesome.
We got on the road for a 68 mile day and climbed two large climbs with steep grades affording classic views of the ocean around Big Sur. We exited the rugged coastline as the grain smoothed. Suddenly, signs appeared that we were entering an area for Northern Elephant Seals (so-named for their tremendous size – like a car – and large bulbous noses males develop). I was stoked. So far on the trip, we had seen sea lions and harbor seals at a distance…but motherfucking elephant seals!!??…this was a dream.
The marine layer poured in over land and as I strained my eyes towards the beach, I couldn’t believe it but to see an entire rookery of them. The pics and videos are above. The males were clashing on the beach by biting, bugling, and thrashing into each other. Females and youths lay about sleeping. As it was summer, they were molting skin/fur. Apparently the rookery was famous because it’s a safe place to sleep and prevents killer whales and great white sharks from getting too close.
Afterwards, we made it to Morro Bay, had some salmon tacos, made camp in a drizzling fog, and called it a night.