Update 2: May 12, 2006
Channel Islands National Park:
May 1-4, 2006 (Location 4 on the Map)
Channel Islands National Park is
a series of islands off the coast of Ventura, California. We weren't
even aware of its existence prior to
planning for the trip. The only way to get to each of the five islands
that allow visitors is by boat or plane (depending on which island you're
visiting). We stayed at McGrath State Beach during this part of the trip,
which is the closest camping to the park.
Our entire stay here was overcast and sometimes drizzling. Regardless,
we spent time on the beach letting Justin play and indulging Susan
her birding pursuits. We took a boat ride out to Santa
Cruz island one day. This was
boat ride (other than the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, which doesn't
really count). We were hoping to see some whales on the ride, but had
to settle for some Dahl's porpoises in the distance. Justin's patience
was rewarded at the end of the hour-long ride with a sea lion that had
on the rocks near the pier. We spent a few hours hiking around the island,
we were never able to see much due to the fog and drizzle. Still, it
was a worthwhile visit, and we were able to check off our third National
New birds we spotted at McGrath State Beach: Brown Pelican, Gadwall,
Killdeer, American Avocet, Wilson's Snipe.
For photos from McGrath State Park and Channel Islands, Click
Morro Bay/San Luis Obispo:
May 4-7 2006 (Location 5 on the Map)
We've always liked this area, which is why it made our itinerary again
on this trip. If it weren't for the million-dollar homes at Morro Bay,
we'd consider moving here. Of course, it is still in California, so we probably wouldn't move here anyway.
We spent our time here riding bikes and hiking from Morro Bay State
Park along the beach and out to Morro Rock. All of Morro Bay is considered
a bird sanctuary, so Susan once again had binoculars and a bird book
in her hand.
We wanted to climb on a couple of small formations nearby,
but they turned out not to be suitable for having Justin there without
someone else along to watch him. Plus, after a 15-minute jog up the trail
to scope out one of them, Jeff
which probably would have presented a problem if Justin would have
been up there bush-whacking around while we climbed. We consoled ourselves
with the fact that the rocks were only about 25-feet high anyway, and
probably would not have been worth the effort.
New birds we spotted at Morro Bay: Black-Crowned Night Heron, Black
Scoter, Willet, White-Crowned Sparrow, "Oregon" Junco.
For photos from Morro Bay, Click Here
Pinnacles National Monument:
May 7-10 2006 (Location 6 on the Map)
Our first visit to Pinnacles was a good one, even though we once again
didn't get any climbing in. We are somewhat limited to the type of climbing
we can do with Justin along, and it's now even harder that he doesn't
like to sit still. In the old days, before he was mobile, we could take
along the portable playpen and he'd be content to stay inside. That doesn't
work any more, because now he likes to be part of the action.
there are a lot of trails at Pinnacles, so we spent our days hiking.
Justin got to visit his first cave, and even got the honor of wearing
a headlamp and leading Susan through the cave. We love the fact that
he's getting so many new experiences on this trip.
New birds we spotted at Pinnacles: California Condor, Western Bluebird,
Acorn Woodpecker, Yellow-Billed Magpie, White-Breasted Nuthatch.
For photos from Pinnacles National Monument, Click