For whatever reason, I have a (kind of strange) obsession with volcanic plugs. In case you’ve never driven down the PCH through Central Coast and fallen in love with volcanic plugs on your own, I’ll elaborate briefly. The plugs are kind of like a small mountain that forms when an active volcano has magma build up and harden in the vent (the vent is the crack where all the volcano goodies spew forth and ooze out). While they don’t *usually* erupt, my internet research tells me that they can. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to climb them all!
In the Central Coast area, there is a volcanic plug chain called the Nine Sisters. They are old as hell, which I think is why we can climb all over them without worrying that they’re going to explode Joe Vs the Volcano style in the middle of the hike. Not all of them are climbable (but we did climb – of course – the tallest one, a blog on which is soon to come), but they’re all very striking. One of the most picturesque and not-climbable of the Nine Sisters is Morro Rock, coincidentally located in Morro Bay (and guess what? ‘Morro’ from Spanish means ‘rock-shaped hill’ or something like that). I just love Morro Rock.
I love Morro Rock so much, in fact, that last year I made TWO visits to see its lovely face.
This year, we decided to stay a night in Morro Bay to fully experience the healing and rejuvenative powers of being in the presence of Morro Rock. (Side note: you may not necessarily have a spiritual experience visiting Morro Rock if you are not the sort of person who finds volcanic plugs majestic and awe-inspiring. Or, you know, if it’s foggy.)
So, we flew into San Luis Obispo airport and landed around 10pm, picked up a rental car and headed north to our hotel for the night, the Blue Sail Inn.
The Blue Sail Inn is a totally amazing deal, by the way! The room was cheap and it was way cute (and beachy!) and clean and spacious. However, the best thing about coming into Morro Bay after dark and staying the night at the Blue Sail Inn…
Even though you can’t climb it (Morro Rock is a historically preservered landmark, following some quarrying going on until the ’60s which was kind of eroding it, and it’s also a designated ‘bird sanctuary’ for Peregrine Falcons), Morro Rock is kind of my favorite of the Nine Sisters. It’s just so gorgeous! And so rocky!
With its positioning right in the sea, it’s a very easy-to-spot landmark as you’re driving along the PCH, and on the off-chance that we’re just driving through and not stopping in to visit the rock up close and personal, I usually make sure we pull over and at least take a few pictures.
Also, if you’re lucky, you might catch a couple of these guys on your visit. We were fortunate enough to snag a shot of this little cutie floating about on the waves before a storm. (And come on, the only thing I like more than volcanic plugs in the Pacific Ocean are sea otters!)
So if you find yourself in the Central Coast area, make sure to pop by Morro Rock (or any of the Nine Sisters for that matter). It’s a magnificent sight to see, and better yet – there are some great spots to stop for lunch or breakfast right in Morro Bay. Now you’ve got no excuse!