I don't think anyone could stop me from ever returning to SLO. Going to school there was probably one of the most fortunate things that has happened in my life. It's not that one thing happened there that made it one of my favorite places, but it's the endless number of memories that have been made there that make it so great. And this past weekend was jam packed full of great memories.
Waking up in SLO on Saturday morning, we piled into the car early with just about only the plan to head up the coast. We weren't sure what the weather was gonna be like, what the road conditions were, or what we were trying to see... all we new was that we were down to get out and see the coast regardless of what it had in store.
With the insane weather pouring down on California these past few weeks (22' of snow in tahoe!!!!) we were a little worried that our views were gonna be washed away by the rain. However, luck was on our side and we were greeted by green grass and giant rainbows as we pulled up to our first vista point a few miles south of San Simeon. We stopped to see the massive waves washing logs upon the shore, and to get a much needed stretch, before a quick drive up to the San Simeon Pier. The clouds were beautiful that day and the puddles reflected them all perfectly.
After we played around on the pier watching the waves crash and splashing in puddles, we thought we'd try to make it up to see the rushing water of Salmon Creek falls. On an unfortunate note, the road was closed just past Ragged Point bringing us to our next stop and keeping us from the waterfall. Or so we thought... All of us had been to Ragged Point before, but we had never wandered down the path that states, "Journey at your own risk," or something like that. The sign was certainly leading us in the right direction. The path was steep and muddy, which only made us slide faster to the base of a beautiful waterfall cascading down right onto the beach. It had caught us completely off guard, so we spent a good hour climbing around, getting sprayed by the mist of the falls, and taking in all of its beauty by the sea.
Once we had all had our fix of the falls, we ventured back up the steep hills to the Ragged Point Restaurant, and enjoyed a well deserved drink as the afternoon greeted us. We sat around the lunch table for a while and met up with some more of our friends who were taking the same drive. They told us we had to stop at the Elephant Seal viewing area on our way back to SLO. January is apparently, "peak mating season" for the seals where you can witness pups being born and fights breaking out among the 2000 pound beasts. Most of them were just laying around barking at each other, but getting to talk to the guide about the habits of their lives was surprisingly more interesting than that of a beached whale. I never thought I'd say that it was a place that I would enjoy. I'm very glad we stopped.
After we had heard enough of the barking Elephant seals, we finished our drive back in SLO just as the clouds rolled in. We lucked out and were granted a beautiful day on the Central Coast. And that was only the beginning of the weekend. Later that afternoon, I was able to shoot with a Paso Robles local photographer by the name, Ben Zucker. But more on that on the next post. Enjoy these pics from our coastal drive to Ragged Point.