2005-09 Getty Center / Lompoc


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Lake at Guadalupe Dunes
Lake at Guadalupe Dunes
Guadalupe Dunes - Raccoon Baby
Guadalupe Dunes - Raccoon Baby
Guadalupe Dunes - Raccoon
Guadalupe Dunes - Raccoon
Guadalupe Dunes
Guadalupe Dunes
Guadalupe Dunes
Guadalupe Dunes
Guadalupe Dunes
Guadalupe Dunes
Guadalupe Dunes Bluebird
Guadalupe Dunes Bluebird
Guadalupe Dunes Bluebird
Guadalupe Dunes Bluebird
Guadalupe Dunes
Guadalupe Dunes
Guadalupe Dunes Bluebird
Guadalupe Dunes Bluebird
Guadalupe Dunes
Guadalupe Dunes
Guadalupe Dunes Wildflowers
Guadalupe Dunes Wildflowers
Getty Center
Getty Center
Getty Center Architecture
Getty Center Architecture
Tree House - Getty Center
Tree House - Getty Center
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My daughter and helper!
My daughter and helper!
Getty Center Amphora Recess
Getty Center Amphora Recess


A quick 2 night trip up to Lompoc, California. Stopped at the Getty Center on the way up! On our second day we visited the Guadalupe Dunes, just south of Pismo Beach in California.

http://www.dunescenter.org/about.htm

There are two locations to visit the dunes. One South of Guadalupe and one North. The Northern site contains Oso Flaco Lake and was the subject of our visit.

I had heard about them on TV (I think) or somewhere a while back and thought it might be a fun place to visit. It was, but with reservations. The location is somewhat out of the way, situated a few miles north of Guadalupe, CA and a few more miles south of Pismo Beach, but not particularly far from either. Reasonable places to stay would be Lompoc (where we stayed), Beulton/Solvang, Pismo Beach or even San Luis Obispo.

I travel with a routing GPS that I call Betty. She knows where everything is and I usually trust her driving directions ( "In 500 feet turn right, etc." ) and she guided us down this paved road through some fields where we watched, with a bit of joy, the art of crop dusting from a helicopter. The area looked out of the way, and just about the time I thought I was going to have to reprimand Betty for giving bad directions we met the end of the road where it terminated into the parking lot of the state park. The parking was via an envelope that you inserted cash into and placed in an envelope receptacle and self parked (no valet). The walk from the parking lot was on a path that is wide enough for a car, but blocked to all but pedestrian traffic. It was a cool shaded path with dense growth on both sides. The nature of the walk filled us with anticipation as this didn't seem like any walk to dunes that we have ever been on.

Towards the end of the walk the shadow of the tree cover ended and, there were lakes on both the right and left sides of the path. We didn't give the lake on the right more than a passing glance, as there were two choices in direction; one to the left, and one straight. To the left it was a bridged walk over the lake. Straight ahead, the path quickly turned sandy and didn't appear to be the best way to go in terms of comfort and convenience. Besides we all know that waterfowl and other such scenery along a comfortable walk are more interesting than slogging up a sandy path...

The path winded along the side of the lake, but over water with the largest body of water on the left and a minor portion on the right. There were waterfowl, but unless common ducks fascinate you, there was little to shoot on our visit. Distant in the lake were some pilings that had one more bird than piling, creating a circumstance that seems all too often mirrored in our daily lives.

After quite a long trip on this elevated walk, we came to the shore of the lake on the West side where the walk continued overland. The walk wound through scrub for quite a distance where there were a few wild flowers growing, but nothing too dramatic.

The walk ends with the last hundred yards being through very soft dune sand that was difficult to walk on. To the side of the path, the dunes rise into the air, covered with brush of varying size.

After a long hike through the sand, we stood for a moment and returned to the wooden path. At this time we came upon two blue jay’s who seemed absolutely intent on posing.

We walked out on a side route, which was also a wooden deck walk in the sand and came to a vantage point that allows you to see both scrub covered dunes as well as some sand only dunes.

This was the end of our tour of the dunes. On the way back where the dune part of the walk turns into the bridge over the lake, we came across a family of raccoons. Here is the mama raccoon and a baby. The babies were very cute.

So why do I give the location a mixed review? It is an out of the way area that offers nothing particularly unique that isn’t found easier or more closely to home. Dunes very similar to these (but smaller) are to be found in Oxnard, and better birding to be had in Bolsa Chica and Irvine right here in Orange County. We had fun, but wouldn’t go there specifically to photograph again. Hope at least one person found this a little interesting.

Paul


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27 photos found in the category 'All' . sorting: 'publish order/descending order'. This gallery has 27 photos in total. Gallery was launched 2005-09-03. Combined page views in this gallery is 752377. Easy link to this gallery is http://www.melor.com/gallery/list.php?exhibition=34. Photo gallery code generated by Exhibit Engine 2.02.