Northern California: Part IV

The saga continues with Part IV: The Christmas Seals? Christmas day dawned rainy and foggy in Santa Rosa. When we went to bed the night before, the weatherman had predicted another sunny day. Phaugh! Never trust the weather man!

Nevertheless, Vin and I decided we would go on the hunt for Seals (we were told by my former-colleague Don Floyd that the mouth of the Russian River was a good place to find elephant seals). We looked for seals in Eureka and Trinidad with no luck! No ewoks turned up in the redwood forests either. So, after a great breakfast buffet, Vin and I went off to look for the mouth of the Russian River and hopefully some seals!

It was still raining pretty heavily though as we drove down the winding road that leads to our destination.

[[image:cal66.jpg:Rainy River Road:center:0]]

[[image:cal67.jpg:Fog in the distance:center:0]]

Finally we get to the picturesque little town by the mouth of the Russian River, Jenner. The signboard for Jenner declared it had a population of like 100 persons, I think! Vin and I both were excited as we parked along the road and looked down the cliffs for our seals. (Don said that they were usually lying on the beach relaxing).

This is what we saw:

[[image:cal68.jpg:Barely visible beach:center:0]]

[[image:cal69.jpg:The ocean’s edge is completely swallowed up by fog:center:0]]

[[image:cal70.jpg:Still no seals?:center:0]]

[[image:cal71.jpg:Can anyone even see anything?:center:0]]

[[image:cal73.jpg:Birds on the big rock:center:0]]

Then finally we notice some dark lumps in the water, moving against the current. Several lumps in fact, and it was NOT random! We watched and watched, and I zoomed in as close as I could. And this is all I could get:

[[image:cal72.jpg:A Christmas Seal?:center:0]]

OK – so it looks like a rock in the picture, but it was MOVING! I swear! We kept hoping it would get out of the water, but no luck. So Vin and I left, without having really seen a seal… ūüôĀ

Luckily our hotel was nice and cozy:

[[image:cal74.jpg:Our room:center:0]]

[[image:cal75.jpg:The bay window overlooking the parking lot:center:0]]

We vowed to go back if we got another sunny day. Maybe it was the rain which had foiled us. So the next day (Boxing Day), we woke up to an almost sunny day! It was the kind of day where it was threatening to rain, but with some prolonged periods of sunshine. So we went back to the Russian River. Would we find some good after-Christmas Seals??

AND THERE THEY WERE!

[[image:cal76.jpg:Seals lying on the beach in the distance:center:0]]

[[image:cal80.jpg:After-Christmas Seals!:center:0]]

Here are some pictures of the beach from the cliffs to compare what we saw the day before in the rain and fog:

[[image:cal77.jpg::center:0]]

[[image:cal78.jpg::center:0]]

[[image:cal79.jpg::center:0]]

We saw that there was a road that took us down to the beach so off we went.

[[image:cal82.jpg:The sea from beach level:center:0]]

[[image:cal81.jpg:Vin and the pounding surf:center:0]]

[[image:cal85.jpg:Seagulls:center:0]]

And here we are, much closer to the seals now.

[[image:cal83.jpg:Lazing around:center:0]]

[[image:cal84.jpg:Beach bums enjoying the scenic view:center:0]]

[[image:cal86.jpg:How relaxed are they?:center:0]]

[[image:cal88.jpg:One guy’s looking at us:center:0]]

[[image:cal89.jpg:Me and the seals:center:0]]

[[image:cal87.jpg:Vin with Jenner in the background:center:0]]

So finally we got a good deal and found the great seals after Christmas (ain’t that always the case?). The vacation is not over yet! More to come in Part V (which I promise is the final part). Anybody up for petrified redwoods?

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