In the winter the beaches at Piedras Blancas (GPS N35° 39′ 45.4″ W121° 15′ 23.7″ or about 4.5 miles north of Hearst Castle on Highway 1) are covered with elephant seal families. The males control harems of about 30 female seals and their growing babies. From the parking area and attached boardwalk one can see a thousand or more seals, with more on other beaches in the area.
When a rocket launches just after sunset it rises into the air and, if the timing is right, part of the rocket exhaust will enter the light from the sun and leave a colorful trail behind as the exhaust freezes and ice crystals form. This is called the “twilight phenomenon” and is fairly rare as the timing of the rocket launch window and sunset have to coincide just right. [Read more…] about Rocket Twilight Phenomenon
Parkfield is the self-proclaimed earthquake capital of California. It’s located on the San Andreas fault north and east of Paso Robles (which is half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco on Highway 101). This is a combination of two trips there (one with blue sky, the other cloudy).
Elwin Mussell came to Santa Maria as a 16-year-old. He learned printing and produced a free newspaper called the Santa Maria Advertiser. Over time, he came to own close to 574 acres of land in Ruiz Canyon. He also served as city mayor from 1974 to 1980.
In 1952, Mussell started building a “fort,” designed to be a personal showplace. Most of the property was purchased from Fred Gobel in the 1940s. Additional property was purchased from a man named Livingston, a direct descendant David Livingston from Africa. [Read more…] about Mussell Fort
Chapel Hill is a private chapel just outside of Shandon on Highway 46 about 18 miles east of Paso Robles (Paso is half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco on Highway 101 in California). [Read more…] about Chapel Hill