As we left “the Big Sur,” we entered San Simeon, which is more rolling and brown than the high cliffs north of there. At Piedras Blancas beach you can watch the elephant seals in their rookery. They’re sleeping, okay? I know, not very exciting. Every once in a while one would grunt and toss sand on their back. The males are huge and a little more active than the females. I saw a few playing (fighting?) in the waves. Inexplicably, the seals are guarded by a fence that says “Do not feed the squirrels.”

The sunset was gorgeous, like the sky was on fire, one evening. Of course, I didn’t have the camera until the last second, so I caught a little from between the trees. But I did catch the full moon rising opposite from behind the hills. San Simeon is quiet and rural. The moon was so bright, I could almost read by it. I slept very well that night, listening to the mooing of cows and the crashing of waves.