Piedras Blancas, Home to 7,500 Elephant Seals, California Central Coast, USA
Home to some 7,500 elephant seals during mating season in early Spring Piedras Blancas, located north of the entrance to San Simeon Bay and Hearstís Castle, is also home to one of two classic lighthouse towers in California, typical of those of the Eastern Seaboard. Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, built in 1875 remains as an active private aid to navigation today and is maintained by the United States Bureau of Land Management. It was temporarily closed to visitors during our visit however.
On December 31, 1948 and January 1, 1949 three magnitude 3.8 to 4.6 earthquakes centered 6 miles off the point damaged the lantern room. The lens, lantern room, ornate railing, and the upper portion of the tower were removed, reducing the height of the tower to 74 feet. The lens in now on display in the nearby community of Cambria. The United States Coast Guard staffed the lighthouse until 1975, when the tower was automated and the station unmanned.
My photos of Piedras Blancas (and San Simone) are below.
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