Winter Solstice California Coast

We followed our friends from the Candy Mountain Collective for a quick road trip up the coast of California to celebrate the Winter Solstice.

On the shortest day of the year we wandered along California’s coastline, against the annual route of our migrating friends. With the ocean off to the left, we waved to herds of marine mammals and kaleidoscopes of butterflies in search of warmer climates. Starting in the temperate winter of Southern California, it was not warmth we sought, but a yin to Los Angeles’s yang.

Monarch Butterfly Grove

Our first pit stop was the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach. Every year, tens of thousands of monarch butterflies migrate through the same eucalyptus grove on their way down to sunny Mexico. The timing was perfect and we witnessed a flurry of orange and yellow dancing in the trees.

Morro Bay

At Morro Bay, it was evident that the beaches thrived with life as noted by the abundance of sand dollars. Although the temptation was strong to take them with us, we left mother nature’s currency where we found it to keep her books in balance.

Moonstone Beach Park

Further north at Moonstone Beach Park we met Abbott and Costello. A couple of Pacific harbor seals lounging by a tide pool soaking up the last minutes of warm sun rays.

“Live Life Outside” – The instructions on the Sunski glasses say, “Live Life Outside” We obliged.

 

San Francisco & Marin County

The next leg of our journey jumps us forward to San Francisco and Marin County.

To the north, tucked away in the foothills of Mount Tamalpais, some of America’s most prolific thinkers lived and died. Nestled in the Victorian streets, to the south, art and civil renaissance movements continue to flourish.

If you’ve ever watched an inspirational Alan Watts video on YouTube or worn tie-dye, you’ve embodied apart of this region.

 

Botanical Gardens

We found lone Ginkgo biloba trees, succulent gardens, and bamboo forests at the San Francisco botanical gardens.

Ginkgo is one of the oldest species of trees used in Chinese herbal medicine to promote blood circulation through the brain. The ancient tree was in magnificent display of deep yellow, much of which blanketed the earth below.

 

Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore encompasses many faces of natural and manmade beauty. From wide swaths of golden brushed sand dune beaches, to stoic Cypress trees lining unkempt paved roads, to jagged cliffs and abandoned lighthouses.

California has almost 850 miles of coastline ranging from warm, surfable, sandy beaches on the border of Mexico, to foggy bluffs sprinkled with 350 foot tall Redwood trees.

 In between here is an ecosystem of hominids, animalia, and flora coexisting on our great Mother Earth. It is our responsibility as stewards of the planet to look after her health, maintain balance in the kingdom, and keep our consumption sustainable.

Photography/Words  – @candymountaincollective

Model – @ashakalka