Montana De Oro – California

Montana De Oro - California

Photo: Rugged coastal landscape of Montana De Oro State Park, California.  March 2012

From Thursday to Sunday I was up camping at Montana De Oro State Park.  It’s only 2 hours north from me here in Santa Barbara but this is only the second time I’ve been there; the first being only last year and just for a quick stop on the way to somewhere else.

I struggled with the weather on a few days.  Often it was a near impossible task to keep my lens dry while standing so close to the sea with heavy waves crashing all around me and I had a few wet feet moments where I pushed things a little too far.  By the second evening I almost run out of lens wipes as I hadn’t refreshed my supply yet since getting back from Europe and my February trip to Lofoten had already nearly cleared me out.  When photographing on the edge of the sea (and especially with saltwater) the disposable lens tissues are a much better option than using microfiber lens cloths as they tend to build up too much moisture and contamination from the salt and other crap in the water that they become rather infective after only a short while.  Dry lens tissues in combination with ones pre-moistened with cleaning solution are the best combination I’ve found for working situations with lots of sea spray.

The central California coast is a bit of a black hole for me that I’ve never spent much time exploring, even famous areas like Big Sur I’ve only ever spent a day or two photographing at.  I think it comes from memories as a kid that on the few times we would go up there it seemed like heading to the end of the world.  So for some reason in my mind now it feels like the 6 hour drive to Bishop and the Eastern Sierra, where I never went as a kid and have no recollection of the journey, is quicker than heading 2-3 hours up the coast.  Or maybe I think it’s too close to home and therefore less interesting than if it would be further away.  I don’t know.  But there is some absolutely amazing coastline up there and being so close, I hope to make it back on a more regular basis from now on.

The only negatives I feel about camping on the coast is that California State Parks are a complete and total ripoff at $25 (and up to $35) a night for a primitive camp site without even a shower, whereas on the Eastern Sierra I can largely camp for free.  When traveling alone, as I largely due, that adds up to a hefty bill quite quickly.  It’s actually cheaper to stay in hostels in Europe than to camp in California these days.

 

Montana De Oro - California

Photo: Coastal landscape of Montana De Oro State Park, California.  March 2012

 

Montana De Oro - California

Photo: Rugged coastal landscape of Montana De Oro State Park, California.  March 2012

 

Montana De Oro - CaliforniaPhoto: Panoramic coastal landscape of Montana De Oro State Park, California.  Nikon 24mm tilt/shift lens.  March 2012

 

Montana De Oro - California

Photo: Rugged coastal landscape of Montana De Oro State Park, California.  March 2012

2 replies
  1. Søren says:

    You really hit it with this set. Extremely gorgeous, especially the 24mm tiltshift panoramic. Wouldn’t mind that framed on my wall once I finally find an apartment with a big enough one to hang it on..

  2. Cody says:

    Once you find a wall, shoot me an email. Ya, it’s a really cool place and I’m not sure why I’ve never shot there before. I need to try and get back there again before summer fog season begins. Still a ton of places to explore and different conditions to be had. Plus there’s some fun mountain biking to be had.

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