Refugio to El Capitán and back again

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, CA — Refugio State Beach is connected to El Capitán State Beach via a 2.5 mile bike/walking trail. I arrived at Refugio at about 6:30, paid the nice lady at the gate for parking, and found a parking spot. I had the camera gear in my backpack and left it there for the walk through the camping areas to the beginning of the bike trail.

Upon reaching the trail I took the camera out equipped with the 70-200 and walked for a bit. I took a few photos of the birds which kept swooping up relatively close, landing on the fence or a branch for a few moments, squawking, and flying off. I was not planning on walking the whole trail since I planned to be leisurely and did not have a lot of time before it got dark. The trail was less photogenic than I’d hoped, though, so I was walking faster than I expected to be. I noticed a little trail headed down to the beach that cut across the bike trail from, probably, a little parking area by the 101. The tide was a little too high for me to be confident of being able to make the entire rest of the walk along the ocean, so after visiting the beach briefly I got back on the bike trail.

Before too long I was at the other end of the trail at El Capitán. I considered heading to the beach there, but I only just entered the park and noticed the sun had already ducked behind the hills to the west. It still feels rather wrong that the coast here faces south — I keep wanting to think of along the coast as north/south but it still is east/west.

I headed back along the trail as it got dark. I took a few shots along the way, but mostly I wanted to get back to Refugio before it got really dark. It was not a super shooting outing but it did get me out of the apartment for a nice walk.