2022 March: CA: Pinnacles NP & Redwoods. OR: south coast.

From March 4-15, we enjoyed visiting California’s Pinnacles National Park and redwood coast plus Oregon’s southern coast via RV camping. Highlights from the trip are described below. (Click here to view a more extensive gallery “2022 Mar 4-15: CA Pinnacles NP, redwoods; OR coast“)

Pinnacles National Park, California

Jumbled rocks atop the High Peaks loop (hike 5.4 miles, 1650 ft gain). Pinnacles National Park, California, USA. This panorama was stitched from multiple images. (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Jumbled rocks atop Pinnacles National Park along the High Peaks loop (5.4 miles, 1650 ft gain).

Turkey feathers reflect a rainbow of colors. Pinnacles Campground, Pinnacles National Park, California, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Turkey feathers reflect a rainbow of colors in Pinnacles Campground.

Sunset in Pinnacles Campground in Bear Valley. Pinnacles National Park, California, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Sunset in Pinnacles Campground in Bear Valley.

Bear Gulch Cave Trail. Pinnacles National Park, California, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Bear Gulch Cave Trail.

Suspended boulder. Bear Gulch Cave Trail. Pinnacles National Park, California, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: One of many boulders suspended over Bear Gulch Cave Trail.

Bear Gulch Reservoir. Pinnacles National Park, California, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Bear Gulch Reservoir, Pinnacles National Park.

Atop Pinnacles National Park on the High Peaks loop (5.4 miles, 1650 ft gain). California, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Jumbled rocks atop Pinnacles National Park on the High Peaks loop (5.4 miles, 1650 ft gain).

Estero Bluffs State Park, near Cayucos, California

2017 shipwreck, Estero Bluffs State Park, Cayucos, California. (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: 2017 shipwreck, Estero Bluffs State Park.

Hearst San Simeon State Park, Cambria, California

Invasive iceplant at Leffingwell Landing Park, part of Hearst San Simeon State Park, Cambria, California, USA. Iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis) is a coastal succulent shrub native to the coast of South Africa, where the climate is similar to that of coastal California. Iceplant was introduced to California in the early 1900s as an erosion stabilization tool beside railroad tracks, and later used by Caltrans on roadsides. Iceplant is ecologically bad for a number of reasons. (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)

Above: Invasive iceplant at Leffingwell Landing Park, part of Hearst San Simeon State Park.

Iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis) is a coastal succulent shrub native to the coast of South Africa, where the climate is similar to that of coastal California. Iceplant was introduced to California in the early 1900s as an erosion stabilization tool beside railroad tracks, and later used by Caltrans on roadsides. Iceplant is bad for a number of reasons. It’s invasive and releases salt into the soil, raising the salt level high enough to inhibit other plant seeds, especially grasses.  It doesn’t serve as a food source for animals and can out-compete the native plants for water, light, and space. It’s actually bad for erosion control. Having weak root systems, these heavy plants can cause the hill to start sliding, taking existing topsoil from the slope. Although the soft succulent new growth has a high water content which doesn’t burn, the slow-to-decompose dead leaves layered underneath create a fire hazard.

Cormorants. Leffingwell Landing Park, part of Hearst San Simeon State Park, Cambria, California, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Cormorants at Leffingwell Landing Park.

California ground squirrel. Leffingwell Landing Park, part of Hearst San Simeon State Park, Cambria, California, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: California ground squirrel at Leffingwell Landing Park.

Bermuda buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae). Leffingwell Landing Park, part of Hearst San Simeon State Park, Cambria, California, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Bermuda buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae) at Leffingwell Landing Park.

San Simeon Pier, William R. Hearst Memorial State Beach, California

San Simeon Pier, William R. Hearst Memorial State Beach, California, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)

Historic San Simeon Village Schoolhouse (1881 to 1950), below Hearst Castle on the hill. California, USA. The one-room Pacific Schoolhouse saw generations of ranching children — including George and Phoebe Hearst’s son, William Randolph Hearst. Other students included Pete Sebastian, the last Sebastian to own Sebastian’s General Store, as well as Hearst’s grandson, John Hearst Jr. William Randolph Hearst started to build a fabulous estate on his ranchland overlooking the village of San Simeon in 1919. He called the estate "La Cuesta Encantada" - Spanish for The Enchanted Hill. By 1947, the hilltop complex included a twin-towered main building, three sumptuous guesthouses, and 127 acres of terraced gardens, fountains, and pools. (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Historic San Simeon Village Schoolhouse (1881 to 1950), below Hearst Castle on the hill. The one-room Pacific Schoolhouse saw generations of ranching children — including George and Phoebe Hearst’s son, William Randolph Hearst. Other students included Pete Sebastian, the last Sebastian to own Sebastian’s General Store, as well as Hearst’s grandson, John Hearst Jr. William Randolph Hearst started to build a fabulous estate on his ranchland overlooking the village of San Simeon in 1919. He called the estate “La Cuesta Encantada” – Spanish for The Enchanted Hill. By 1947, the hilltop complex included a twin-towered main building, three sumptuous guesthouses, and 127 acres of terraced gardens, fountains, and pools.

Big Sur coast, California

McWay Falls at sunset, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur coast, California, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: McWay Falls at sunset, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Big Creek Bridge silhouette at sunset, Big Sur coast, State Route 1, near Lucia, California, USA. The Big Creek Bridge is an open spandrel, concrete deck arch bridge (589 feet long) on the Big Sur coast of California, along State Route 1 near Lucia. Opened for traffic in 1938, it crosses Big Creek Canyon. (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Big Creek Bridge silhouette at sunset, on State Route 1, near Lucia on the Big Sur coast of California. Opened for traffic in 1938, it crosses Big Creek Canyon.

Bixby Creek Bridge (1932), Big Sur coast, California, USA. 120 miles south of San Francisco and 13 miles south of Carmel in Monterey County along State Route 1. Completed in 1932 for just over $200,000, the concrete span, one of the highest bridges of its kind in the world, soars 260 feet above the bottom of a steep canyon carved by Bixby Creek. Iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis) is a coastal succulent shrub native to the coast of South Africa, where the climate is similar to that of coastal California. Iceplant was introduced to California in the early 1900s as an erosion stabilization tool beside railroad tracks, and later used by Caltrans on roadsides. (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Iceplant blooms near Bixby Creek Bridge. Completed in 1932 for just over $200,000, the concrete span, one of the highest bridges of its kind in the world, soars 260 feet above the bottom of a steep canyon carved by Bixby Creek. Bixby Bridge is 120 miles south of San Francisco and 13 miles south of Carmel in Monterey County along State Route 1.

Non-native Calla lilies on Doud Creek, Garrapata State Park, California, USA. These non-native Doud Creek calla lilies bloom in late January through mid April (photographed March 8, 2022). The plant is originally from Malawi and South Africa. (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Non-native Calla lilies on Doud Creek, Garrapata State Park, California. These non-native Doud Creek calla lilies bloom in late January through mid April (photographed March 8, 2022). The plant is originally from Malawi and South Africa.

Non-native Calla lilies on Doud Creek, Garrapata State Park, California, USA. These non-native Doud Creek calla lilies bloom in late January through mid April (photographed March 8, 2022). The plant is originally from Malawi and South Africa. (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Non-native Calla lilies on Doud Creek.

Redwood National and State Parks, Northern California coast

Light rays in foggy redwood forest in Murrelet State Wilderness, California, USA. (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Light rays brighten a foggy redwood forest in Murrelet State Wilderness, California.

Coastal redwoods are the world's tallest lifeform. Stout Memorial Grove, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Coastal redwoods are the world’s tallest lifeform. Stout Memorial Grove, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor, Southern Oregon coast

Secret Beach, Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor, Oregon coast, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Secret Beach, Oregon.

Natural Bridges Viewpoint, Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor, Oregon Coast Trail, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Natural Bridges Viewpoint, Oregon Coast Trail

Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, Oregon

Wild male turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, Oregon, USA (© Tom Dempsey / PhotoSeek.com)
Above: Wild male turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in the Campground at Bullards Beach State Park.

Related pages: California | Oregon

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