|From spending a couple of weeks playing on the beautiful beaches on the Pacific Coast then traveling to the deserts in southern California to be sure, is quite a shock. Weird looking cactus and native plants, butterflies, hummingbirds galore, gorgeous sunsets, 70 degree temps and surrounded by what they call mountains in this country, we're finding the desert certainly has a beauty all it's own. We've been told that the desert will start blooming with millions of flowers within the next week...and we can't wait for that. We're parked in a BLM Long term visitor area which takes in hundreds of square miles and have visited with many people who spend 7 months of the year camped here. Answers to the last couple of posts: Name of the ocean on the west side of the U. S. is the Pacific Ocean. The coast highway U.S. 101 starts in Port Angeles, WA and ends in Los Angeles, CA. The highway is 1540 miles long and much of it hugs the Pacific Ocean. Elephant seals got their name because the male's snout looks somewhat like an elephant's trunk. Males can weigh up to 5000 pounds and be 14-16 feet long, while females weigh up to 1600 pounds and can be 10-12 ft in length. They spend about 80% of their time in the water. Monarch butterflies are orange and black. They eat milkweed and will strip a plant down to its stalk, getting the food it needs. This year there were about 25,000 monarchs that wintered in Pismo Beach and some years as many as 235,000 winter here. Most Monarchs only live a few weeks but the species that winters here, lives for six months. A jetty is a structure, usually made of rocks, formed out from the beach to prevent big, crashing waves from eroding the sandy beaches. There are several jetties around Morro Rock to keep the waves from undermining the huge rock which is a reserve for the peregrine falcon.