The sun rises over Pine Mountain. A dense layer of fog veils the end of San Simeon Pier. It’s mesmerizing as the fog retreats, and the beach comes to life. Gulls glide over thermals, then perch on wood pilings. Their penetrating calls will wake nearby campers.
Along California’s Central Coast, in San Simeon, a historic lighthouse keeps her vigil. The Pacific rises and falls with the tide. Immense waves crash against the headlands. Elephant seals bark and jostle for a spot on the beach. Some leave the seashore, swimming out to forage. Whales are feeding just offshore. Otters laze and feed in kelp beds. A squadron of pelicans flies formation just inches above the water.
On the hills and valleys to the east, zebras and cattle herd together. An occasional Elk joins the crowd. Sambar and Coastal Deer with Barbary Sheep graze on new vegetation. Crows are masters of thermal currents.
On California’s Central Coast, the micro-town of San Simeon is the former home of publishing giant William Randolph Hearst; a marine sanctuary; Coastal Discovery Center, and the wild Pacific.