Whales and seals and flowers, oh my!

point reyes deckOne of the great things about getting married on 4-20 is that I will most likely never forget my anniversary. But just in case, Kay and I have established a tradition of taking a three-night anniversary getaway to somewhere within a 4.5 hours driving radius of where we live. This includes Lake Tahoe, Yosemite Valley, The Humboldt Redwoods, Big Sur, and many other geologically astounding locales.

We just got back from Point Reyes National Seashore. It’s only one hour north of San Francisco, which makes it less than 2 hours north of where we live, which is why these two question surfaced:   1) “How is it that neither of us has ever been here before?  2) “We have 2.5 hours of driving time left over. What would you like to do with it?”

our place at point reyes

The quote of the weekend goes to me. I said to Kay:

“We take us to all the best places.”

Below are four pictures.  The first one is where we stayed.  The second one is looking out from our deck.  The third picture is yer typical California “Wow, I mean seriously, wow” shot.

The fourth picture is looking down on some elephant seals.  They are just this side of the big rock, on the little beach. Also in this picture are many colors in the grass provided by flowers.  We talked to a woman who comes here often.  She said we had caught incredibly perfect weather, as usually it is cold and windy out on the point, and she told us that we had come at the most colorful time of year, as this was when most of the flowers have their pistils and stamens out.

She also taught us about California gray whales and their spring migration to the north during which they hug the coast and if you get lucky you’ll see some today.  As it turned out, we got lucky that day, several times.  Which brings us to the last feature of picture number four.  If you look carefully, at just the right spot, you’ll see a place that isn’t all that far away from where we actually saw some whales.

typical awesomeness

The most surprising thing to me about the whales was being surprised by the scale.  It’s pretty hard to surprise me when it comes to scale.  I’ve spent an awful lot of time and mind-wattage observing, reading about, talking about, and thinking about the various size scales, and time scales, and temperature scales, and every other way we have of measuring the goings on around us.  So I already knew, long before we left home, that whales are big.  And here’s what happened.  Because we were so high up, my mind had automatically factored in “whale largeness” and “approximate distance” before it set forth at using my eyes to look for whale-sized objects in or above the water.  Then I spotted a whale as it broke the surface of the water.  I could not see the whole thing.  After it went back under, it stayed very near the surface for a little while and it was easy to stay with it.  And that’s when I was able to see the whale’s entire lengthitude.  It was twice as long as it was supposed to be according to my mind’s calculations.  They should put a sign up there for the whale-watchers that says, “Objects are in fact exactly as large as they appear, especially whales.”

elephant seals



  • Palsport Posted April 21, 2009 7:57 pm

    Humans are fortunate, Tommy and Kay especially so. Pistils, stamens, elephant seals, whales and love. Perfect examples of good life. Plus, flowers!
    Happy anniversary, folks.

  • TecmoSuperBowl Posted April 22, 2009 9:42 am

    Awesome pix Tommy. I’ve never been to the west coast. If you had to pick one place to go to check out nature and it’s beauty, where would it be?

  • Tommy Angelo Posted April 22, 2009 11:10 am

    “If you had to pick one place to go to check out nature and it’s beauty, where would it be?”

    Remember in the original Star Trek when Kirk asked the bad computer a question that made it self-destruct?

    Okay, I have to break your question down into two groups: with and without ocean. For some people I suspect that any “greatest ever” location would have to include an ocean or a bay or at least a big lake. And you implied keep it to California. So with those parameters, I would say the one place to check out would be, uh, … does not compute! does not compute!

    Okay here:

    San Francisco.


    Anywhere around there, north of it, south of it, in it. You don’t have to go far from it to be one with nature, and then you’re never all that far from a Starbucks so it all works out.

    And for inland, this one is closer to a no-brainer for me at least: Yosemite Valley. Not only is it oh my god amazing, it’s also historically significant in the role it played in turning the government on to preserving beautiful places just because.

  • tecmosuperbowl Posted April 22, 2009 12:21 pm

    Sweet! I’ll add SF and Yosemite to my newly created “List of Places 2 See: According to Tommy Angelo.”

    I wonder if I could write a book like that….I also wonder if I’ll have to pay you royalties….hmm, forget I said anything.

    One of these days I’m going to get my butt out to Cali.

  • Henri Posted April 24, 2009 3:34 am

    awesome, California here I come!

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