Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wrapping Up Our Week in Oceano with a Sea Lion Rescue!

We've had a lovely time hanging out in Oceano, CA for the past week. The weather has been perfect: Sunny and low 70's on the coast and high 70's inland. The coast cools down quickly in the afternoon though, so you always have to have a jacket in the car just in case.

We hiked a combo of the Felsman Loop and Bishop Peak trails for a 5 mile, view-tastic, leg stretcher overlooking San Luis Obispo and the surrounding mountains. Bishop Peak is one of the chain of nine Morro's, or volcanic plugs, formed over 20 million years ago. The most well-known of them is in Morro Bay, a few miles North West.

We hiked on the Monday holiday and found Bishop Peak trail to be a very busy trail. Located on the edge of a college town, the many trails in the area get a lot of use at high traffic times. The trail up Bishop Peak is pretty steep, fully exposed to the sun (it was hot!) and has lots of boulders to step over and around. This area must be incredibly beautiful in the spring when all of the surrounding hills are green.

Bishop Peak looms over Hans at the start of the hike.
It tops out at 1,546 feet.

On the East flank of Bishop Peak we could see three other Morro's snaking North towards Morro Bay.

View of San Luis Obispo.

The top has clusters of giant boulders. You can see a couple of people top center.

Like Santa Cruz, where we stayed last week, Pismo Beach experiences the Monarch butterfly winter migration. We walked through the Monarch grove this morning when it was cloudy and cool so all the butterflies were hanging very quietly. They become more active when it's warmer.

This was one of many large clusters of Monarchs.

We spied some vultures having a meeting in the dunes:

Vultures in the dunes???

Walking back up the beach we spied a small sea lion seemingly stranded on the beach. A couple of women standing nearby had just called The Marine Mammal Center; luckily one of them had just recently learned about this group through her daughters Girl Scout troop...serendipitous! Moments later the rescuer arrived and he asked us bystanders to help!

Small sea lion stranded on the beach and kind of freaked out by people walking by...

The Marine Mammal Center to the rescue!

I held him captive while the rescuer got a crate...

Another bystander braced the crate...getting it in there was a challenge!

Off to the Center for a medical evaluation and eventual release back to the ocean!

After our exciting morning saving the sea lion (!!!) we spent the afternoon cleaning the roof of the RV...fun stuff! Tomorrow we're heading inland to Santa Paula for a few days and it's gonna be hot (compared to the beach anyhow)...before we make our way back to the coast.

Sea stars on the Pismo Beach pier.


  1. Bravo, what a good deed! I hope it will be healthy enough to be return to the ocean!!

  2. Impressive...and what a fun adventure!!!!

  3. That sea lion looks so pitiful! How exciting to be able to help in its rescue.

  4. he or she looked pretty sad indeed, good thing it is getting a physical...

  5. That's what I miss most from the west...those wide open views with mountains always in the distance.

    So glad that the sea lion was able to be rescued properly:) How cool that you got to help!

    Good that you saw a few sea stars. There was just a report on the news last night about how they are disappearing from the CA coast. They have almost completely disappeared in Monterey and they don't have any idea why.

  6. Wow! How low lucky for the sea lion that some concerned and knowledgable people came along to help. he/she looked pretty sad lying there on the beach :(

    We also hiked up to Bishop Peak when we were in the area last year. The trail was very crowded with college students, but it was a great hike and the view at the end was amazing!