Out and About: Elkhorn Slough

With my parents visiting this weekend, I thought it would be good to get out of the house for at least one day. I’ve been to Elkhorn Slough before, but it was in a kayak, and I thought I’d see if they had any walking trails. Why, yes, they do. And with the new that it was going to be over 90 degrees at our house today, heading toward the coast sounded even better.

So we drove down Highway 1, turned left at the power plant, and found our way to the visitor’s center parking lot. We stopped in for a look around and a day pass, and I did a quick look through the gift shop, noting the t-shirt I’d talk my mom into buying herself on the way back out. We brushed off our shoes and stepped into their lye solution, so we’d avoid spreading Live Oak disease in the preserve. (The ranger looked a bit worried when we talked about the oaks that have died on our property the past few years and added a very determined PUH-LEASE to her reminder not to forget the lye! Obviously, we were glad to oblige.)

Then we strolled. It was a beautiful day. Those of you who familiar with the California coast know that, when it’s hot inland, you have a high chance of running into a pretty thick fog bank at the ocean. Not one wisp of fog did we see. The sun was out, the weather was in the seventies with a nice breeze, the trails were wide and comfortable, and the views were pretty darned spectacular. For a relaxing, holiday blog post, I thought I’d share a few shots.

I did not get a shot of the huge flock of white birds that was lazily circling and circling in the sky above us. At first we thought they must be egrets, but it didn’t feel right–not with the clump of them. Eventually we figured out that they were white pelicans. The sun was reflecting off their wings and they looked as white as if they’d been through a bleach cycle, except for the bits of brown on the tips of their wings. They were having as much fun as we were.

We topped the day off with a late lunch at the Sea Harvest restaurant & fish market. Sea Scallops and Chips, plus a big glass of iced coffee–delicious. I’m not honestly sure we’ll need dinner tonight!

Hope you’re all enjoying your holiday weekend!


  1. Glad you got to enjoy the day!


  2. terri Thayer says:

    Great pics. You channeling Lee or something?

    White pelicans are rare in these parts. We saw a big colony at Shoreline earlier this year. Beautiful birds

    I love the Elkhorn Slough, but have only done it by boat.


    • beckylevine says:

      I know, I was thinking about Lee’s posts when I put this up. But he’s a much better photographer than I am. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a white pelican-and, yes, I’ve only kayaked the slough before. This was very different.


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