Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Twilight Walk Along Moonstone Beach


After leaving Paso Robles (to read that post click here) and driving west back to the Pacific Coast Highway, we drove north towards the quaint little community of Cambria, California.  We decided to stop and stay for the night in a motel that was located right across the road from a section of Moonstone Beach. After checking into the motel my husband and I decided to take a sunset stroll along the beach, even though the sky was partially overcast like a woolly blanket stretched along the shoreline.



As the sun dipped below the horizon it struggled to send it's last glowing rays through the cloud bank and the unusual lighting made the ocean and beach appear like a shimmering mirror! It was truly a spectacular sight, and I could see that this area could be a photographer's paradise.

The beach held giant boulders and many smooth black stones that I collected as we walked along the shore.  We stopped in our tracks when we came across large mounds of kelp that had washed ashore in a prior storm.  When we first approached the long tangles of the brown cords (above photo lower right corner) I was reminded of legends of Medusa and other serpent haired monsters. The kelp looked like a living and breathing reptile ready to slither away, but in fact it was specimens of a beneficial brown algae plant called Macrocystis pyrifera that grows along the Pacific coast in large underwater forests. To learn some fascinating facts about the giant kelp forests along the Pacific Coast go to this page: Natural Marine Sanctuaries.



We saw a surfer leaving the beach as the light was slowly disappearing. Moonstone is a world class surfing destination as waves can be as high as 7.5 to 8 feet, and higher, at times.



Our twilight walk along Moonstone Beach left us with many very magical memories.


Back on the road the next morning we headed north along the Pacific Coast Highway to our next planned stop of San Simeon, where we wanted to visit the world famous Hearst Castle.


Can you see the castle high upon the mountain?  On my next post about our California trip along the coast from San Diego to San Francisco I'll take you there!  Meanwhile, come back to my blog on Wednesday for some more "Christmas in New York" city scenes!

I'm linking this post to "Mosaic Monday,"  "Blue Monday" and "Our World Tuesday" blog events.  Many thanks to all the blog hosts!



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48 comments:

Ginny said...

I remember your Christmas in New York last year, it was fabulous. These pictures are amazing, the formation of the clouds almost like a big wedge, then the beautiful sunset!! Yes, Medusa is what came to my mind, too, with the kelp, ick! Can't wait to see Hearst Castle!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

These photos are really so beautiful, thanks for sharing.

Sara said...

Your photos certainly captured the magic of Moonstone Beach. Just gorgeous! You can sometimes find little sea creatures among the roots of the kelp that washes up on shore...tiny starfish with round bodies and feathery looking arms.

The Gathering Place said...

what a fun vacation you must have had (0r are having)! The beach looked so inviting and I've always wanted to go to Hearst Castle.

Vee said...

Oh I can't wait for either one...the Hearst Castle or the Christmas in New York scenes.

This beach really is a beautiful spot on earth. I can so readily see why you describe it as a magical evening walking along the shore there. Lovely photos, Pat, as always I might add.

podso said...

It's just restful to my busy soul to gaze upon your lovely beach fotos and imagine myself on a walk there!

Riet said...

These photo's are wonderful Pat. Beautiful sunset on the beach.

Looking forward to your next series of photo's.
Have a nice weekend

Pamela Gordon said...

Pat, these are such stunning photos! What a gorgeous beach.

Snap said...

You need to write a travel book ... using your own images ... YeeHaw!!!! :D :D :D

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

This is exactly the peace-filled post I needed to see today. Oh, what a lovely place to visit. Thank you!

Barbara F. said...

I am enjoying this after a fun but hectic day doing errands, meeting a friend for lunch, etc. I am settling down with a cup of coffee and visiting blogs. Beautiful photos of a beautiful place. xo

Lynn said...

OK. So did you major in photography or WHAT??? Isn't Hurst Castle something?!!!

Old Kitty said...

Oh wow! Giant sea kelp!! Aww they're great for the sea otters and sea otters are the cutest creatures ever! Yay!

Pat your photography is truly stunning here! It's very moody! What a great place and time for a stroll - fab name too - Moonstone beach.

I love your travels and as always feel as if I'm strolling along with you here! Thank you! Take care
x

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, Pat... love the idea of a romantic walk along that beautiful beach!! I know y'all had a wonderful time.

One of my blog friends went to Cambria recently and told me about a yarn shop there that I am SURE I would love to visit... now, I think I need to visit that beach too! Thank you for the beautiful tour. blessings ~ tanna

Theanne and Baron said...

Beautiful Pat!

ellen b. said...

Beautiful shots of the beach Pat. I'm glad you decided to stay in Cambria...
The last time I was at Hearst Castle was in the early 70's!

Loretta a/k/a Mrs. Pom said...

Cambria is our favorite town in California. If not for the beach and the mountains and the farms, for the amazing barbecue in the middle of town that made me crave smoked meat all day and night!

Betsy said...

Isn't that gorgeous! I love the clouds in that shot!

And that really looks like a mermaid lost her hair! ha.

From the Kitchen said...

I've been to Moonstone beach several times in the sunshine. It seems quite different in your photos. I think a visit on a gray day would be very nice. I can't wait to visit Hearst Castle as we never quite got around to it while living there--something about little boys and castles not mixing!

Best,
Bonnie

Carol said...

Beautiful! What a gorgeous place to stroll. Funny my thought was spaghetti, not Medusa. But then I'm always thinking about food :)

Kris said...

Oh the places you take us through your magnificent photography!!!!! Can't wait for more on NYC!!!

diane b said...

This is a lovely tour you are taking me on." Moonstone" what a brilliant name for such a magical place. Your photos are stunning. Hearst Castle brings back memories of our 1970 trip to California. I'll be keen to see if it is still the same.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Gorgeous photos of the beach, Pat!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Beautiful shots of the beach Pat...it seemed like a perfect moment in time. Your mosaic is great too!

Farmchick said...

Really beautiful Pat!

GrandmaK said...

Oh how lovely!!!! Just take your breath away!!! Wishing you well! Cathy

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

This beach and your photos are breathtaking! Another place I would love to visit! Happy holidays my friend! ♥

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Beautiful beach photos. V

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Stunning photos of the beach and sunset pat. Looking forward to Hearst Castle - a dream of a place.

Sheila said...

Those clouds remind me of a stairway to heaven. You captured the evening light in a spectacular way Pat. You asked its we see the northern lights here and sometimes we do. I remember times when they were dancing in every direction and in the sky above our house too.

Lavender Cottage said...

Beach photos always seem to give a feeling of relaxation, yours are beautiful.
Judith

Kim, USA said...

Beautiful landscape! It's so relaxing to see these photos.

My Pearls

momgen said...

I like all twilight shots...Visiting from blue Monday.

Mine is here

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, wow your California photos are awesome. I love the name Moonstone beach. What a pretty place to visit and walk along the beach. I have seen the kelp along the beaches at Carmel. I am looking forward to seeing more from your trip to California. Beautiful photos, have a wonderful week!

Tracy said...

Oh, my... I'm almost lost for words (which is a rarity ;o), dazzled by all these beautiful beach moments... It's like walking in the inside of an abalone shell... all pearlescent, shimmering... Breathtaking! :o) Happy Days, Pat ((HUGS))

SmilingSally said...

What a wonderful trip! Those clouds DO look like a blanket!


Happy Blue Monday, Pat.

Ola said...

This beach is absolutley perfect, fantastic colors and some lunar atmosphere!

Jenny said...

Oh. Wow. My. Wow.

gorgeousgorgeousgorgeous

You captured a beautiful place so perfectly.

I felt like I was there.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Beautiful photos of the Pacific Ocean beaches. Now I must go back and look at my photos...and the map...and see if we stopped at Cambria at all. How quickly one forgets the names.

Cindy said...

Your trip sounds almost magical, Pat. You have taken so many stunning photos, and this trip will never be forgotten because of the way you have documented it on your blog. I am looking forward to seeing the castle up close.
Hugs, Cindy

Claudia said...

That walk is a blueprint for staying in love.

My Little Home and Garden said...

Pat, these photos are gorgeous. I know I would enjoy a twilight walk along that beach as well! ❄

chubskulit said...

Gorgeous!

Late visiting from Blue Monday, come see my Blue when you get a chance. Thank you!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

These made my heart joyful! So glad to have been able to view them~

Nezzy said...

I do, I do see the castle on the hill!!! Hon, your pictures are simply magnificent. Feels like I was right there with ya. Thanks!

God bless ya and have a magnificent day sweetie!!!

BTW: Giveaway...my place...ya'll come!!!

Pondside said...

I've enjoyed this trip through that most beautiful part of California. Now off to New York!

Houseelf said...

Your twilight walk was fabulous. You could make a mini book from the photos with inspiring words.

Vicki/Jake said...

It's been awhile, but I use to ride up and down 101 quite often. I miss seeing such spectacular scenery. Oh the smell and roar of the ocean...Thanks for the memory jolt:)