Morro Bay

by Kaylah Stroup

After Salvation Mountain, day two of our road trip wasn’t shaping up to be too great with both Jeff and I super tired. He’s a bear when he’s tired, and I’m the actual worst when I’m hungry. Basically we were a dream team on day two. Not! A hotel wasn’t in the plans for a few more days but we needed it. We sat down at Starbucks after scarfing down In-N-Out (because duh!) and decided to head to Morro Bay for the night. It was only a few hours away, and we figured it would be a great place to rest up.

Aaaand we were totally correct! Our hotel was right by the beach, I could even see Morro rock from the window. We ordered a pizza and relaxed while waiting for the sun to get a little bit lower in the sky. While we ate I browsed instagram photos tagged “morro bay”, “morro rock”, and anything else I could think of that would show me photos of nearby things. I found a few photos featuring jellyfish (which I later learned are velella). I was super excited. I was hoping to find one on the beach. We really don’t have anything interesting living in Lake Erie, unless you believe in Bessie, so even dead finding something like a jellyfish is so neat to me.

We walked to the beach a little bit later and there they were. Hundreds (thousands?!) of velella! Jeff’s comment was “Well, here you go!” The first thing out of my mouth was “Grosssss!” But I’m not going to lie, it was pretty cool and I was darn excited. They were impossible not to step on. I tried avoiding them the longest time but eventually gave up after seeing barefoot surfers, and joggers just walking on them like it was no big deal.

Even more exciting than tons of velella? Sand dollars! I have never actually found one myself. I own a few but I have no idea where they came from. I was walking the beach when I spotted one. It was whole but broken on the underside. I was pumped though! A few more feet and I found another. This one was perfect. Then it was just one after another, they were everywhere. I even found a live one complete with a barnacle buddy.

We watched the sun set for what felt like days. Sunsets here, I swear, only last a few minutes. The sky is beautiful but only for a very short amount of time. I feel like we watched the sunset on this beach for so much longer than I’ve ever experienced in my life – and it just kept getting prettier. Then it got foggy. Are you kidding me!? Y’all know how much I love fog.

So quick recap here – velella, sand dollars, prettiest sunset I’ve ever seen, surfers, mountains, and fog. Basically, it was heaven. Have you ever seen one of those silly commercials for California with Arnold Schwarzenegger saying how fun the state is? This should be in one.

Morro Bay, you are pure magic. One night was not enough. I definitely would love to go back and explore the area again someday. If it were possible, I would seriously fly out there RIGHT NOW.

You can find more posts from our road trip under the “travel” tag.

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