Petrified Sea — Salt Point State Park, CA

Salt Point State Park, Coast, Sandstone


After weeks of suffocating heat and smoke from the Tamarack, Beckworth, and Dixie fires, Aubrey and I decided it was time to make a trip the California coast, one of the only places within a 7 hour drive that could promise cool and clean air. We followed the long and windy roads to Salt Point State Park, one of my favorite stretches of coast that has the same strange rock formations you would expect to find in Utah. Ironically, though we came to breath fresh air, the sky itself was foggy most of the day and resembled the smoky skies from home. Still, simply knowing that the air was clean made all the difference, and sleeping in a tent in cold damp air was exactly the relief we’d hoped for.

The area is also quite popular with fishing and other harvesting. At one beach we met some friendly van lifers cleaning out their Sea Urchin haul, and I bravely nibbled on a piece of sea-to-mouth Uni they offered. It was extraordinarily delicate, sweet, fishy, salty, and nutty.

Salt Point State Park, Coast, Sandstone

Bizarre sandstone shapes etched by millennia of wind, salt, and rain in Salt Point State Park, on California’s Pacific Coast. I used a long exposure (30 seconds) in this photograph to blur the misty sea to accentuate the strange figures.

We had visited here once before, but looking through my blogs that image never seems to have made it on here, so now seems like a good time to share it, too. The rocks here are covered in mesmerizing designs of tafoni, the same kind of weather rock found elsewhere along the coast, and in the southwest.

Tafoni, California Coast, Pacific Ocean

Intricate patterns of tafoni (the sculpted cave-like features on the sandstone) adorn the wild coastline of California, while the huge waves of the Pacific Ocean crash against the shore. 

Tags: California, coast, ocean, sandstone, sea, tafoni


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