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Summer Vacation Trip Part 2

by Chris Guenzler

Elkhorn Slough Safari Tour 8/14/2015

We signed our releases and passenger manifest then walked to the gate by the dock and waited. We then all walked to the dock to board the boat. Our Capitan was Yohn Gibson and our naturalist was Melanie.

The Elkhorn Slough Safari Tour boat. We were given life vests and you can rent binoculars for two dollars.

The boat left the dock and we started our tour in Moss Landing Harbor.

Moss Landing Harbor. Now we would start seeing wildlife with California Sea Lions.

California Sea Lions.

The Rachal from San Francisco.

More California Sea Lions.

The Moss Landing Power Plant which is a natural gas powered electricity generation plant located in Moss Landing, California, at the midpoint of Monterey Bay. The plant's large stacks are landmarks, visible throughout Monterey Bay.

More of the California Sea Lions.

A Sea Otter just floating about.

Moss Landing Harbor.

Cormorants love any point that overlooks the water.

The kayakers were out on this beautiful August Summer day.

The only raft of Sea Otters we saw on our trip today when we are here at high tide and not low tide like last year's tour.

The Sea Market Restaurant where we wanted to have lunch today.

The birds are on land and the slough.

Sea Otter floating in the slough.

Birds along the shore.

Sea Otters floating on their back.

A bird comes floating along.

Harbor seals.

Trees along the shore of the Elkhorn Slough.

Pelicans abounded this late morning at the Elkhorn Slough.

Harbor Seals on the bank. I heard an Amtrak horn so I called out "The very rare Coast Starlight is coming into view!"

Amtrak's Coast Starlight made its way across Elkhorn Slough this morning being twenty-five minutes late today.

A Sea Otter at play.

Always look up on any tour you take.

Views of Elkhorn Slough.

A Sea Otter checking us out.

The wind is picking up on the Elkhorn Slough.

The kayakers were having a blast out on the water today.

Views on Elkhorn Slough.

A cormorant has taken flight.

Fantastic views abound when you take an Elkhorn Slough Safari Tour.

This Sea Otter is checking us out.


Elkhorn Slough views.

The railroad bridge across the Elkhorn Slough.

Elkhorn Slough views.

The stacks from the Moss Landing Power Plant can always be seen.

Elkhorn Slough views.

My mother and me on the Elkhorn Slough Safari Tour.

Our boatmates on this Elkhorn Slough Safari Tour.

Rule is always look up.

Those stacks again.

Sea Otters at play.

The former intake duct into the power plant.

We went back under the CA Highway 1 bridge.

The view out to sea in this case the Pacific Ocean.

We returned to the Moss Landing Harbor and then the dock ending another Elkhorn Slough Safari Tour. Once we got my mother off of the boat and dock, we returned to the car.

After another great Otter Tour we went north across the highway bridge to the Sea Market Restaurant finding it closed for a private party so no lunch here on this trip. So it was south on CA Highway 1 to CA Highway 183 through Salinas to US 101 south to King City. We stopped for my lunch at KFC, gas for the car and MacDonald's for my mother. She then wasn't feeling well so she started to fall asleep while I drove south on US 101. We turned onto CA Highway 198 which we took east and the first time I had driven this road. I made one stop on this road.

The point on CA Highway 198 where we crossed the San Andreas Fault. This was a very interesting road to drive. It took us through Coalinga then once past Interstate 5 on the San Joaquin Valley floor, we went through Lemoore and through Hanford to CA Highway 43 south then along the BNSF mainline. Just south on Angiola the northbound low level San Joaquin 717 was the only train we even saw in 50 miles along the railroad. We took the Elmo Highway over the CA Highway 99 which we took into Bakersfield. We checked into the Clarion Inn and my mother stayed in the room while I went to the Hungry Hunter Steakhouse for a Top Sirlion which was excellent. I got an iced tea and chocolate mousse to go for my mother. The computer would not connect to the hotel's internet so other than labeling the pictures and play backgammon this evening. I watched the Disney Channel before calling it a night.

8/15/2015 This morning I loaded up the car before we left the Clarion Inn. My mother felt much better after a good night of sleep. We had breakfast at IHop where I had my breakfast off the 55+ menu. I guess I am getting old? We stopped for gas before we took CA Highway 99 south to Interstate 5 which we took over the Grapevine to the hottest part of the trip. It was 103 degrees at Calvine Blvd and at Irwindale when we were on CA Highway 210. We got off at Citrus Avenue as my mother wanted to see the hospital she was born in and the park she played in as a kid. Then it was Citrus Avenue south to Interstate 10 to CA Highway 57 and through the traffic home to Santa Ana ending this trip. It had been a very good trip with my wonderful mother.