Pinnacles National Park October 2022

Time for a road trip so Dorie and I took off for Central California.

The first stop was Pinnacles National Park Campground and some hiking to see condors. The pinnacles are a strange volcanic rock formation popping up amid miles of typical rolling hills in Central California. Our campsite was perfect for the heat. We were nestled in under the shade of a very large live oak, surrounded by trees and bushes. We had no camp neighbors but a lot of camp visitors. A family of 4 deer, 2-3 families of racoons, a covey of about 12 quail, a fox, several squirrels, and birds of all sorts. They came and went throughout our campsite for both days. The racoons were the only pests. Wild turkeys were everywhere in the park.

The next day was an early start up the Pinnacles to see the condors as they spread out their early morning wing spans to dry out before they soared away. The trail was challenging in some area with the footing only single-track steps chiseled into the stone. The reward was seeing all the condors. We caught a few with their wings spread and several soaring on the thermals.

Two days in the truck called for a nice night at a hotel in Paso Robles. We had a great lunch at Niner’s Winery, made a couple of wine tasting stops and had an excellent dinner at Buona Travola.

The next day was a drive to Mono Bay and the Montana de Oro Campsite just south of the bay. The whole bay was shrouded in fog so thick you couldn’t even see the iconic rock in the bay. We walked around the little town and had lunch before heading to Montana de Oro. The campsite was equally fogged in, and we had a wet evening and morning. I did bag the cloud covered Valencito Peak. We got to try our new propane campfire. Easy to start, not smokey and cozy heat for cocktails during the damp evening.  We opted for breakfast in town instead of at the wet camp before the drive home. (click on any slide to view slide show)

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