Six miles south of Morro Bay lies the coastal state park of Montana De Oro. In Spanish that means "mountain of gold". The vista upon arriving was certainly golden. Fields upon fields of yellow flowers greeted us as the early morning sun burned brightly behind us and reflected off the multi colored green waters of the pacific. The sky was crystal blue and cloudless. The sandy trail wound in and out following the rugged coastline cut by the powerful waters of the pacific. The cliffs are rugged and the beaches secluded and unique. There are massive flower covered coastal plains and canyons. The scene painted by nature is nothing short of spectacular. The photos tell the story. Add the sounds of gulls, the rolling surf crashing upon the rocks,the buzz of the bees, the low howl of the wind and one becomes in tune with the inner self. The smell of salty air contrasts with the subtle floral aroma. A sudden spurt and geyser of water attracts our attention. We realize it is the unmistakable mark of a whale several hundred feet off the coast where we stand. We are mesmerized. This is a really rare and special treat. We follow the activity for a good 20 minutes. The blast of water is a good 20 feet high and dissipates in the wind. We worked our way down to the rocky beach and walked out on the seaweed covered rocks exposed by the receding tide. Mini pools of ocean water remain on the dips in the rocks and contain a living ocean in themselves. Crabs,abalone,seaweed,miniature fish and countless colored rocks and shells grab ones attention. The sandy beaches are filled with round stones and rocks and lined by the abrupt vertical cliffs of stone and sand. There is so much that the senses are overwhelmed. We walked some 4 plus miles. We then visited the Elfin Forest Los Osos. This is a forest of pygmy oak trees several hundred years old. It is remarkable how the coastal winds have twisted and shaped the old oaks into contorted Bonsai like forms. The trees are at most 15 feet high. The park is set between Montana De Oro and Morro Bay and overlooks a vast expanse of barren tidal swamp. Rugged coastal plants occupy the surrounding plains. These are all magical works of nature. We lunched at Galleys in the quaint bay front town of Morro. We had fish tacos and they were delicious. This will serve as our main meal since we have feasted too royally the last two days.

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