Have meteorologists given you misleading information?
I think it has happened to all of us.
My most recent “weather.com fiasco” started the day I arrived to Morro Bay. I checked the forecast before breakfast, the sun was supposed to be in full force by 10:00 a.m.
At 10:00 a.m., it was still dark, cold and foggy. I checked the forecast again. At that moment, the sun was supposed to appear at 11:00 a.m. At 11:00, the rock was still covered in dense mist and not a beam of light was on sight. At that moment I faced the truth, the sun was never going to come out (even though the forecast said it was going to appear at 12:00).
I was so obsessed with the weather because I had planned an all-day hiking itinerary, including an ascent to Black Hill, a high point from where the entire Morro Bay area is visible. Additionally, as a good behaved blogger, I wanted to take a lot of colorful photos (i.e. with the sun contributing to the multihued variety).
As grumpy as I was, I decided to move ahead with the initial part of the plan. We took Main Street which promptly turned into State Park Road and South Bay Boulevard. The car passed thru streets following the serpentine turns of a bay formed by a 5 mile sandpit. We passed the Morro Bay State Park and other preserves with splendid names such as Elfin Forest, Sweet Springs and Heron Rookery. Once we left behind the unincorporated area of Los Osos, the sign for our final destination appeared followed by warnings about deer and people horseback riding.
We made it to Montaña de Oro State Park and I wasn’t happy at all. The light was still minimal and small drops of rain started to cover the windshield. I told my husband: “You know, let’s go back to Morro Bay and find something else to do”. I was so focused on my negative attitude that I was discarding all the “must see”, “don’t miss” and “if you only do one thing” recommendations about the park.
As we were returning, my husband told me: “At least, we should take a look at one of the places the lady in the visitor’s center recommended”. He turned left at Sand Spit Road. We parked the car and walked towards the sea.
That short hike cheered me up. The wildflowers, the dolphins playing in the surf, the big rock on the horizon or the funny steps over the sand had an effect on me. I noticed this was not your average park (not even the name is average). I had something totally different before me.
I told my husband: “Let’s drive further south as we originally planned”. My jaw dropped when we arrived at Spooner’s Cove. The rest is history. We stayed in the park most of the day. We discovered bluffs, coves, terrestrial and marine creatures, arches, caves, wildflowers, bird and even a snake hiding in a hole (second close encounter of the year).
Do you want to see what I almost missed? Scroll down.
Montaña de Oro means “Mountain of Gold” in Spanish. The flower responsible for the name is the California Poppy. During spring, the vibrant orange flowers cover dunes, coves and mountain skirts with an incandescent hue. The park consists of 8,000 acres (32 km²) of cliffs, sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills, including the 1,347 ft (411 m) Valencia Peak. The park has many hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails, as well as a campground located across from Spooner’s Cove, a popular beach.
This is where the park’s headquarter are located.
Probably, the most popular walk in the park. We only did a short loop.
Access this cove thru the Bluff Trail. The tide pools in here are full of marine life. Take your time to explore.
I want to bang my head against a wall every time I remember how I also missed the opportunity to explore one of California’s most beautiful parks.
Lesson: Accept what you cannot control and make the most of every moment.
What do you think of the park? Is this a place you would like to visit?
Note: This Park is full of trails. Find more information at the headquarters or at the visitor’s center in Morro Bay.