In August we visited, in my opinion, one of the most magical places here on the Central Coast. I get the warm fuzzies whenever we even drive by Elkorn Slough and it’s even better when we actually get out there for a hike. It was our first hike this summer, which was not the goal, but baby life is hard y’all. I see it more like a quality over quantity thing…we didn’t do it often (or at all), but when we did it was BAM! The day was slightly foggy, but warm enough to be comfortable outside, and the birds were out in full force. If you are even remotely attracted to bird watching then this is the place for you. We saw all sorts of birds, from white egrets, to cute little plovers, godwits, and even hummingbirds! It was hard not to take pictures of all of these guys every minute of the walk, they were just so spectacular!
Here’s a little Wikipedia knowledge for you curious kittens. The Slough is a seven-mile-long tidal estuary and/or salt marsh in Monterey Bay. It is one of the largest estuaries in California and provides essential habitat to an enormous number of species, including those birds I just loved on, but also sea otters and other mammals, fish, invertebrates, and plants. The area is protected by the Elkorn Slough Foundation and open to hikers, kayakers, and nature-lovers, year-round. The Foundation and other organizations have done an exceptional job restoring the area from the damage caused by it’s previous inhabitants. There are still remnants of the past strewn throughout the Slough—an old barn welcomes hikers on the main trail, debris from farming ventures decades ago is still being excavated and removed, invasive species that have taken over and pushed out natives dot the landscape, and even the remains of an old lodge that served as a stop for visiting San Franciscans can be seen on Hummingbird Island.
Our little nature walk was so peaceful and harmonious in fact that Baby completely passed out and dozed for about 45 minutes. She was sitting comfy in her Papa’s uber-cool dude-approved, baby carrier (which I was kind of wishing I was sitting in at the end of our hike). We’re hoping this is just the first of many hikes and nature excursions with Baby, not just here in the Slough but all over California and beyond. We’re really keen on raising her with a love and appreciation for the natural world, and a desire to be outside and explore her surroundings always. We’re so lucky to be able to show her this beautiful place and we hope you can come and enjoy it too (for the first time or the tenth time!). Every season here holds so many incredible sights, it’s easy to find something novel and exciting each time we visit.