Colin Schindler
Photography, cycling, wandering, wondering...

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Sam's to San Fran

Our time with Sam and Beau was at an end. Michelle ran out of time to procrastinate, so for the final day the girls paused their playing and recorded some of their songs. A photo shoot ensued and Beau decided we should go out to a field of wildflowers that was all the buzz about the area. Beau also discovered a rattlesnake under one of the girl's guitars which very likely prevented either one of the girls or Josie from being struck. Cheers to awareness!

We had a blast while it lasted and now have a better picture of where in the world it is that Sam ended up. It was a pleasure to meet Beau and refreshing to see someone not fully entranced by technology. As well as Josie, who drops everything to dance when she hears music and whom laughs when something gross happens... Her mother's daughter indeed. Best of luck Beau... and thanks for everything guys!




Sam and Michelle Photo Shoot

Sam and Michelle Photo Shoot

Sam and Michelle Photo Shoot

Sam and Michelle Photo Shoot

Sam and Michelle Photo Shoot

Sam and Michelle Photo Shoot

Sam and Michelle Photo Shoot

Sam and Michelle Photo Shoot

Sam and Michelle Photo Shoot

Sam and Michelle Photo Shoot

Sam...

Sam...

L to R: Colin, Michelle, Josie, Sam, and Beau

L to R: Colin, Michelle, Josie, Sam, and Beau

The bridge to Big Sur on highway 1 was closed for repair so we had to take a more inland road and sadly didn't get to see Big Sur. However; we did get to see Pinnacles National Park which advertised the possibility of seeing the California Condor. I guess the California Condor was entirely lost to the wild and only survived in captivity. When we were in Chile's Torres del Paines we were informed that the condors spiralling around the granite towers were the only condors on the planet. So it was doubly interesting to hear that they were reintroduced recently and have been growing in population.

On the way up we saw countless vultures riding the wind currents about the moutains and began to question whether or not they were condors or not. Upon asking some other hikers they assured us that the white stripes on the undersides of the wings differentiated these condors from the turkey vultures that they had where they lived. Aha!, so they really are condors we thought continuing our hike until three massive sets of flaired wings floated down from the skies to our side. These birds had majesty and were unmistakable once we saw them. It's hard to describe them but as the three of them floated by in descension it reminded me of a far off airplane coming in to land.




Rock tunnel along the trail.

Rock tunnel along the trail.

Watching a vulture soar.

Watching a vulture soar.

Hiking with the moon.

Hiking with the moon.

Pausing to admire the view.

Pausing to admire the view.

Waiting at the end of the tunnel.

Waiting at the end of the tunnel.

A map of Pinnacles.

A map of Pinnacles.

Sun setting on the grape farms.

Sun setting on the grape farms.

Grapes for days.

Grapes for days.

After Pinnacles we headed back to the coast to follow highway 1 futher North. We saw signs that said the way to Big Sur from the North was open so we decided to try and get there from the North. The drive was surrene but once we got there it was locals only and all the hiking trails were closed. So we headed back North and stopped to hike around Point Lobos. There a random hiker handed us his binaculars and pointed out some grey whales swimming and spouting in Carmel Bay. Otherwise, we wouldn't have realized they were there.

The coast to Big Sur.

The coast to Big Sur.

Coastal bridge

Coastal bridge

A Poison Oak patch.

A Poison Oak patch.

Shipwrecker

Shipwrecker

Point Lobos

The rocks of Point Lobos.

Carmel Bay from Point Lobos.

Carmel Bay from Point Lobos.

The moon.

The moon.

A rocky bay.

A rocky bay.

Whale bones.

Whale bones.

More whale bones.

More whale bones.

We checked out Carmel-By-The-Sea and Monterey before heading up to spend the night in Santa Cruz. We walked the boardwalk, stopping in an arcade to shoot up some Jurassic Park dinosaurs real quick. After dark we walked the pier, keeping pace with the sea otters as they broke barnacles open on their bellies before returning under the pier to acquire more.

The following day we stopped in Año Nuevo for a walk out to hang out with the Northern Elephant Seals. They were migrating their way northward with us before they would go on a long underwater ocean swim back to these same beaches.

Carmel Plaza

Carmel Plaza

Fairy or nymph statue in Carmel-By-The-Sea.

Fairy or nymph or something statue in Carmel-By-The-Sea.

Michelle checking out whose playing.

Michelle checking out whose playing in Santa Cruz.

Point Año Nuevo

Point Año Nuevo covered in Northern Elephant Seals.

Abalone shell and seal skull.

Abalone shell and seal skull.

Wildflowers and the Pigeon Point Lighthouse.

Wildflowers and the Pigeon Point Lighthouse.

In bloom.

In bloom.