SouthwestNature

A Stunning Photo Journal of The California Coast

By , November 6th, 2015

I rarely travel domestically and the reason why is very simple: The less “different” a culture is to mine, the less inspired I am by it. Many places in the U.S. are more or less the same, which is why I prefer to jet-set abroad.

The truth is that I travel internationally so much there’s almost no time left for domestic trips, save for those to see my family outside of St. Louis – I haven’t regularly traveled domestically for the sake of pleasure in nearly a decade. Frankly, I no longer have the authority to make such sweeping generalizations about domestic travel.

Consequently, one of the main objectives of my recent trip up the Highway 1 Discovery Route, which  runs along the coast of San Luis Obispo County, California, was to disprove this statement once and for all, hopefully with ample photographic evidence to support my counter-claim.

Care to take a look at some of it?

[caption id="attachment_30998" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]sunrise california Sunrise, as captured from a cliff overlooking Shell and Pismo Beaches, near the southern end of the Highway 1 Discovery Route.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31000" align="aligncenter" width="900"]california roadtrip Starting my 100-mile journey up Highway 1.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31002" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Highway 1 Discovery Route The aptly-named Emerald Cove, located just south of iconic Big Sur.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31006" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Highway 1 Discovery Route No trip along the Highway 1 Discovery Route, whose former name was the “Wine Coast,” is complete without a glass of local white.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31008" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Coastal California Road Trip The town of Morro Bay is defined not only by its seafaring culture, but by Morro Rock, a volcanic “cap” that’s California’s answer to the Rock of Gibraltar.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31010" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Highway 1 Discovery Route Morro Bay is as lively on land as it is out at sea, with fun events such as the annual Avocado and Margarita Festival.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31012" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Highway 1 Discovery Route Fresh seafood is only the beginning along the Highway 1 Discovery Route: California strawberries at Avila Valley Barn, near the town of Avila Beach.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31014" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Highway 1 Discovery Route Enjoying Sand Dabs, a local specialty, prepared in a lemon-caper sauce by the expert chefs at Dutchman’s Seafood, in Morro Bay.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31018" align="aligncenter" width="900"]California Wildlife One of Morro Bay’s playful seals.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35429" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]California Coast Road tripThe steady stream of birds along the central California coast is mesmerizing, especially in combination with the eternal call-and-response of the waves.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31022" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]California Coast roadtrip Yours truly in the shadow of Morro Rock – taken with the help of my tripod and remote. Yes, this is a selfie![/caption] [caption id="attachment_31024" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Route 1 roadtrip Sunset from Shell Beach[/caption] [caption id="attachment_31026" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Highway 1 Discovery Route Neal Maloney of Morro Bay Oyster Company shows me where oysters are born.[/caption]

My drive along the Pacific Coast Highway 1, as well as my two-night stay in charming Morro Bay, not only proved to me that I can be inspired by and produce great photos when I’m not somewhere whose name I can’t pronounce – it has actually inspired me to take more domestic trips, starting with a weekend jaunt to D.C. in late October. It’s like the old saying – So goes California, so goes the nation. Robert visits California – Robert visits the (whole) nation? Yes, I like the sound of that!

*All photos by Author. 

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