Central California:  Pinot, Pinnacles, and The Pacific
Pinnacles National Monument and Fantastic Marine Life, April 2008
Page 2 of 4


One of the gorgeous trees along the trail at Pinnacles National Monument, where we hiked amidst the rocky monoliths, giant canyon walls, California condors, and wildflowers in a four-hour loop.

On the loop back through Pinnacles National Monument, we took the Balconies Cave Trail, going through a bat-filled cave, with Lisa finding some daylight at the other end.  There was no lighting in the cave, so a flashlight was necessary.

The moon and the mountains of Pinnacles National Monument.

We made it back to my car in the parking lot at the end of our  4-hour loop, which actually took 5 hours because of the chicken sandwiches and me constantly stopping to take photos.  My sore feet are your gain.

That evening, Mexican food again.  But we didn't go to La Fuente Restaurant.  That's because that Cadillac-sized carne asada burrito was so enormous that I had half of it left over.

The next morning, after another ten-hour snooze, we drove to the nearby Mission Nuestra Seņora de la Soledad (Our Lady of Solitude), the aptly-named tiny mission tucked away in the windswept farm country of isolated Soledad.  The padres of the lonely mission endured cold bitter winds.  However, water was plentiful and the soil quite rich,a nd the livestock thrived.

After visiting the tiny mission, we drove west to the coast of Monterey.

That afternoon, we walked through part of Monterey to the wharf, and then down the footpath to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world, located in a former sardine cannery.

The aquariums boasts a 10-meter (33 ft.) high tank for viewing marine life of the Monterey Bay.  This aquariums is all the more remarkable because of its giant kelp forest.  The aquarium uses a massive wave machine at the top of the tank to create water movement, which is necessary for the giant kelp to absorb nutrients.

Here's a view of the many kinds of sealife in the enormous tank.

One of the things that I wanted to capture in the aquarium was how it felt to see the remarkable10-meter high Kelp Forest Aquarium.

It's breathtaking to walk up to such a tank and see that much aquatic life, the giant kelp waving gently as schools of silvery fish whip around together in this amazing collective consciousness, and other fish gaze stoically at the humans on the other side of the glass.

And so I thought that one thing I might do is take photos of people peering up at the giant aquarium to convey the magnitude of the tank.

A shark at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  No, I don't remember what kind. 

"Hey, I don't come to your house and stare at you..."

Injured birds have a home at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Some have been injured by oil, and cannot go back into the wild.

The incoming tide splashes over a curve window - and Lisa - at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

A starfish gapes at the humans on the other side of the glass at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

One of my favorite exhibits at the Monterey Bay Aquarium are the jellyfish.  The sea nettle, a giant jelly, is shown here.  The Aquarium has the ongoing "Jellies:  Living Art" exhibit.  The first tank has a large wooden picture frame around it, all the deep-sea drifters gloriously lit in psychedelic glow.

And what could be more fun than one sea nettle?  How 'bout a whole tankful of them?

Another deep-sea drifter at the "Jellies:  Living Arts" exhibit.

More jelly photography on the following page...

Central California:  Pinot, Pinnacles, and The Pacific, April 2008
Page 2 of 4


1   2   3   4

Central California April 2008 Home Page

Eleven Shadows Travel Page
Contact photographer/musician Ken Lee

eleven shadows eleven shadows