Last Thursday, September 8th, we took a day trip to the Monterey area. We crawled out of bed at 3am, left the house at 4am. The sunrise was orange reflecting in the San Luis Reservoir but we were flying up the grade in heavy traffic so I couldn’t capture a good photograph. As we neared the coast the fog was creeping inland over the hills. The hills looked as if they were wrapped in gossamer tinged in pinks and lavenders. I love the fog. The landscapes are softened, the colors muted. The world feels still and safely wrapped.
Our first destination was 17 Mile Drive in Monterey. We exited the scenic tour near Carmel and continued driving down the coast in search of photographs and painting opportunities. The coastline alternated with sun and fog and was very windy. The ice plant and other vegetation were very pretty. There were quite a few wildflowers blooming. We drove past Big Sur then returned to Carmel.
The beach in Carmel looking south, then north and David photographing while the beach crows hoped for tidbits…but we weren’t eating anything.
We visited the Weston Gallery in Carmel then re-entered the 17 mile Drive to return to Monterey. We had a picnic lunch on 17 Mile Drive overlooking one of the large rock outcroppings popular with cormorants. Our next destination was the Monterey Bay Aquarium. At the aquarium I was looking in one of the huge aquariums when I had the feeling of being watched. I looked up to see this big, scary looking fish. He must have been close to 3 feet long.
I hate to admit I had no idea what this Sunfish was. Poor thing looks like he lost half his body. These are huge, 6 feet x 8 feet and weigh up to 2000 pounds.
After the Aquarium we went to the Monterey Museum of Art to see an exhibit of Westin’s photography. It was about 5pm when we left so we picked up a couple of coffee’s and headed up Highway 1 to find a beach to watch the sunset. The fog was returning with the night.
As we drove up the highway I spotted this industrial building with smoke rising from it’s pipe. The scene was rather surreal looking with the evening light, dunes and ocean behind and typical coastal trees in front. I don’t know if the trees are Monterey cypress or pines.
I really liked this row of trees, though they are a bit sad looking. They reminded me of Dr. Seuss trees.
We actually found a beach called ‘Sunset Beach’ where we waited for the sunset. I wondered if we’d see the sun due to the fog coverage. While waiting, I used my binoculars to watch a pod of whales making their way south. A few times they breached the water. It’s always fun to see the whale as well as their sprays of water. There were an abundance of birds to watch as well.
The sun finally dropped below the fog and though it wasn’t a colorful setting, it was still beautiful. We arrived home a little after 11pm. I never had an opportunity to paint since we never sat still long enough but I did get some good photo references.