Personal / Wild Places We Go

How To Be Awesome – Day 2 (Ano Nuevo State Park)

Continuing our eternal quest for awesomeness, we headed out the next day (following our eight hours of awesomeness the prior day) to:

Ano Nuevo State Park

ano-nuevo-state-reserve

Located along Highway 1 north of Santa Cruz, it is elephant seal time at Ano Nuevo.

The visitor center is in an old white barn which is pretty cool…

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You’re required to have a naturalist accompany you out to the elephant seal areas and competition to get on the tours was pretty intense. Here are Brandon and Amanda waiting at the staging area…

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And, of course, Justin and Amanda…

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On the way out to the elephant seal areas, you pass the remains of an old shipwreck. It’s popular with lizards…

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Park Scenery…

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Ano-Nuevo-State-Park

This is Mel, our naturalist guide, breaking things down for us…

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Coast View…

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It was such a great day that I had to film it…

Sand dunes prevail in the areas popular with the elephant seals…

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Here’s a closeup of the plants that grow on the dunes…

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An elephant seal we came across hanging out on the dunes…

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Elephant seals with the old lighthouse station in the background…

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Males arrive first during the annual visit to the West Coast. Fourteen to sixteen feet long and weighing up to 2 1/2 tons, they engage in small skirmishes and violent battles to establish dominance and for the right to settle in the center of the harem and mate with all its females.

Elephant Seal Madness

An elephant seal undulates into a better position…

A camera pan of the elephant seal harems and an alpha bull warning off another bull…

Elephant seals lounging and moving around on the beach at Ana Nuevo…

A larger bull stares a smaller bull down… I kept this video more for the throaty sound the bull makes – rather unique

An elephant seal cooling down in the creek…

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Seals, seals…

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Nothing but sand and sky…

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Some of the others on the tour…

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A view across the park…

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One of the beaches next to the visitor center with an elephant seal on it…

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Ano-Nuevo-State-Park

A final view of the park…

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We had an awesome time, but the old posse was in Sacramento for a couple of days… So, it was time to make a run to Sacramento to keep the awesomeness flowing. There was an important stop that needed to be made along the way though – a meeting with Ian Bowman…

Ian showed off his new boat which he had parked at NexTag headquarters. Unfortunately, he’s already been slapped with a violation sticker for parkin’ dirty…

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This picture pretty much sums up the visit…

ian-bowman

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