On Saturday, January 23rd a very daring group of seniors bravely took a very rainy two hour bus ride out to the coast in Pescadero California to experience one of nature’s most incredible sights. Everyone was concerned about the weather but as we arrived we were treated to a beautiful break in the weather and several incredible rainbows that seemed were there just for us.
Año Nuevo is a Natural Preserve that is designated to provide wildlife viewing opportunities and minimize disturbance to the Wild Elephant Seals that come ashore each winter to breed, give birth and molt in their natural habitat. The Equal Access Tour made possible by volunteer docents provided our group with safe passage through what would normally be terrain just a bit too rough for our group. We were all thrilled to be able to view these wonders like everyone else. Once we arrived at the accessible path (a 300 yard wooden boardwalk) we began our walk. Within moments we were in complete awe, we were surrounded by these incredible 3,000 pound young mammals lounging all along the path. We were told to be alert as at any moment any of the seals might decide to get up and be on the move. Luckily we never had to run, but our walk was cut a bit short as after about 200 yards the path was completely blocked by a few very large seals.
We all learned a great deal about the breeding and survival habits of this mysterious and enormous creature, while getting in a good walk and breathing in that wonderful coastal air.