Camping Montana De Oro
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Welcome to our Camping Adventure

Enroute

Morro Rock in Morro Bay

Cliffside Vista at the Bluffs

Peek-a-boo Mts in early morning mist
Aran took Friday off and we hit the road just before 7am so both girls would still have sleep on them and might be lulled back to slumber with the movement of the road.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, it was a plan, as I got to sit up front (in our new van) and have a purely adult conversation with Aran.  3 hours later we arrived at the southend of Morro bay in San Luis Obispo county at Montana De Oro, named for the yellow wildflowers that cover the hills in summertime, giving it the illusion of being Mountains of Gold.  What breathtaking vistas.Spooner?s Cove was our visual cue for turning into the sparsely populated campsite. 
 

We are here - See Dad

Looking for Skipping stones

A good handful

On its way

Keepers

Campsite # 6

Enjoying the Air

Seasoned Camper Already

A vanload to unload

Bundled and Content at 58 degrees
We picked lot 6, complete with overhanging tree, campfire pit and picnic table.  And given that it was overcast and in the 50's, Aran first line of action was to make us all hot chocolates before pitching the tent.  Yum Yum.  Ula was excited and Esme was bundled and content! 
 

Simpson tent is a plus

Hot Cocoa on it's way

Ready for a hike

Lunch on Jeff: dehydrated Beef Stew and Mashed Potatoes

Adventurous evidence on her nose

Latrine 1

Single-ply is provided

Not like home at all

Aroma-fried
Here is the portion of the trip that would prevent many from camping, even though it seems an unnecessary luxury to any hardcore camper.  THE LATRINE!  Nothing like doing your business on a seat 7 feet over a pyramid of past campers' most organic mementos.  But that was far better than doing it in the woods and risking the over abundance of poison oak touching your most protected nether regions. 
 

Our little Monster

Sleeping with the Tigers

Nature really NEEDS me to see it?

Wakie Wakie

Wakie Wakie 4
Waking up as a family in the tent was one of the most fun.  All slept happy each night.  Even though we don?t look so great on the outside, we were buzzing with love and anticipation on the inside. 
 

Two Sisters and Two Brothers

Hayden & Kai our new friends

Great Smile Hayden

Where are everyone's hands?

Their VW camper and site in background

Cliff dwelling and diving

Pigeon Gillemont Wall

Pigeon Gillemont

Pigeon

Pigeons Gillemont
These birds who come to the bluffs at Montana De Oro from May to August to mate and watch over the two eggs they lay in Cliffside holes intrigued me dearly.  Except for the two dashing white strokes like racing strips these black birds with aeronautical acrobatic wizardry are sheer black from beak to knee.  And yet their webbed feet, as they are keen swimmers almost resembling ducks from distant views, are a startling and vivid red.  And it is easy to spot the one who is serenading or calling to arms in a high pitch twill, as the inside of their beaks and throat are afire with the same brilliant red.  As Aran aligns himself with the Blue Footed Booby, I now have found the kindred bird to pair up with him ? the red-footed Pigeon Guillmont!   
 

Smiling at my Daddy

My version of the game Jenga

There is magic in those shells and stones

Enjoying an empty agenda

Hanging upside down

Walking the tube

Full of bliss and thrill

Heading to the Bluffs

A family that Hikes together...

Loves to Hike together

Hitch-hiking

A snuggly room with a view
On our early morning hike along the Bluff?s trail we saw so much nature.  A fond way to end our adventure at Montana de Oro before scooting to Morro Rock at the top of the bay for the final hurrah.  Even though we weren?t able to capture all on film, here is what animals we saw on our walk:  Two bunny rabbits, a coyote, a vole, two hawks, guillmonts, ladybug, swifts, sparrows, and other meadow birds, a dozen sea otters, starfish, sea anemone, hermit crabs, rock crabs, limpets and three horses with riders. 
 

My how the Earth Moves

Hydra Power

Introducing Risk and revelation to Esme

Bobbing Sea Otters

Seed pods

The Gold of these mountains

It's all about Perspective

Another California flora

Close up

Another gem

Come on down

Dad guiding his two girls

The safer today...

The riskier tomorrow

Just like their Dad would want
Given the early hour, Ula started on my back.  And Esme was strapped to Aran the entire time.  But as the hike progressed and her inquisitive nature took  hold, she walked, hiked, climbed and crawled about all on her own, except for this steep patch of rock leading us into forbidden off-trail territory.  Yet it was here, unencumbered by other sight-seerers we felt closer to the unspoiled nature around and within our family.

Singing on the way down

Exploring and naming nature

Sea Anenome - the one we didn't touch

A private moment

Snails

Hiking into a scary cove

Happy to back in

Salty dogs

No breaking waves, it's all tidepools

Exploring and adventure at its height

The spotted starfish

Oooh it moved

Safer on my shoes

Time to head back

My trail war-wound

Pick me up Dad

Anything for his Ula

Come back again, Please?

at the campsite stage

Family 3

Family 2

Family 5

Family