Perhaps it’s Aki’s Absence or just that we are in California, but it has been a strange, if wonderful day. It started with a visit to Hearst’s Castle—the best 20th Century American example of wealth gone amuck. On the bus ride down from the castle we passed a California condor (a species once on the verge of extinction) posing on top of a roadside rock. It could have eyeing our bus load of tourists for possible carrion. But for a large plastic tag stapled to its wing, the bird would have been scary.
We ate lunch outside of the visitor’s center, sharing our table with three very forward crows. One snatched the paper lining our sandwich basket and jerked it away leaving it’s contents undisturbed, like a magician pulling away a table cloth without disturbing the table settings. Cheeky.
Later we drove through a line of sand dunes to reach the ocean where surfers fought through heavy surf before launching themselves on waves. The road in was so plagued by drifting sand that it had to be constantly cleared by sand plows.
Just before sunset we returned to the sea elephant haul out where the immature males bickered over who could sleep in top of their puppy piles.