Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Morro Rock

I had a big day ahead of me and the first stop was an overlook to see Morro Bay where Sea Lions could be found. On the left is the estuary and

on the right is Morro Rock stand 581 feet tall.

Morro Rock is a landform called a volcanic plug, created when magma hardens within a vent on an active volcano. There are a couple of theories about how this was actually formed 20,000,000 years ago, neither of which I fully understood. It is part of a series of ancient volcanic plugs that line the Los Osos Valley called the Nine Sisters of San Louis Obispo County. I did notice other peaks and I think a couple days later someone pointed one out, but I was a little sea sick and didn’t take a photo.

In 1542 a Portuguese explorer called the rock El Morro, because of the similarity to the Moors and their head-wraps. But he wasn’t the first to take note of the rock. Both the Salinan and Chumash tribes regard this rock as a sacred site. Normally the rock is off limits to climbers but the Chumash people climb Morro Rock for their annual solstice ceremony.

The Salinan also climb Morro Rock annually, according to their legend, to celebrate when hawk and raven destroyed the two-headed serpent-monster Taliyekatapelta, as he wrapped his body around the base of the rock.


Woodswalker said...

You are on an amazing journey! Thank you for all the wonderful photos and informative commentary.

Potomac Valley Nature Writing Group Reading List said...

Nice. I wish I had gotten a pix of the sisters too!