We are finally in flipflops and sandals almost 4 weeks after we left Helena. Still too cool for shorts. This morning we took a walk on the beach at Half Moon Bay. We saw a Merlin and Marsh hawk. A little while later we found a sea lion pup alone on the beach. Sea gulls were gathered looking nonchalant. We watched for a bit. More birds arrived. The pup looking baleful. We left when I decided I’d rather not know how the story ended. I watched a Desert Big Horn commit matricide this spring and that was enough for one year. The campground host told us later the rescue people had chased it around the previous day with no success. Yesterday’s rough seas had beat it up a bit and it couldn’t get out to sea with the rest of its group. I don’t know what a group of sea lions is called.
Last night’s host was from Polson, Montana. He presumed his fellow Montanans would share his ethnophobia and attempted to regale us with how stupid he perceived the rest of humanity to be. While I made mention several times that we are all descended from non-English speaking immigrants he was unstoppable. When he complained that the East Indian’s would share a picnic table in an occupied camp site I suggested perhaps this was normal behavior someplace else and shouldn’t be viewed as a sign of disrespect. He had complained to the rangers about the things he had seen and the rangers told him that over 300 languages were spoken in the vicinity. I envied his chance to be a host in a park with so much cultural diversity and a culturally sensitive official bureaucracy. His complaints that the rangers rescued everyone whether or not they could speak English were mind-blowing. Burt and I were both puzzled that he would presume we shared his racist views just because we were from Montana. Also puzzling that he didn’t alter the course of the conversation based on my responses. I mean do you have to hit a person over the head?
From Half Moon Bay we headed south to Monterey. At the wharf we saw our first seal. Every restaurant was offering free samples of their clam chowder as we walked down the dock. 4 samples was enough to determine that it just didn’t matter. Fresh red snapper for dinner. San Simeon tomorrow. Rosebud, anyone?