Thursday, January 7, 2016

Photos of San Luis Obispo County Old Rocks to Celebrate Old Rock Day

Photos of  San Luis Obispo County Old Rocks to Celebrate Old Rock Day
Fisherman Near Morro Rock, ©B. Radisavljevic

Morro Rock


Someone somewhere decreed that January 7 is National Old Rock Day. San Luis Obispo County has plenty of large rocks and boulders, but they don't come labeled with their ages. A rock has to be pretty well known for someone to have researched its age. Franciscan missionary Juan Crespo , who was with the Portola Expedition in 1769 made note of the rock in his diary. (Wikipedia) The same source says the Chumash and Salian native nations considered Morro Rock to be a sacred site, and they may have been there before the birth of Christ. I think I can say with some assurance that Morro Rock qualifies as an old rock for Old Rock Day.

Prominent Rocks in Pismo Beach


Photos of  San Luis Obispo County Old Rocks to Celebrate Old Rock Day
Huge Rock on Highway 101 in Pismo Beach, © B. Radisavljevic
Morro Bay does not have a monopoly on large rocks and boulders. Pismo Beach and other coastal cities have their share as well. Here are some of the photos I have taken of prominent rocks in Pismo Beach. This one can be seen by anyone driving through Pismo Beach on Highway 101. I took this photo in front of what was then the Marie Callender's in Pismo Beach. It has since closed. The rock remains between the north and southbound lanes of the freeway.

Photos of  San Luis Obispo County Old Rocks to Celebrate Old Rock Day
Great Rock on Pismo Beach, © B. Radisavljevic

To see the other Pismo Beach rocks I photographed you need to be right on the beach. I have isolated this one from its background, which you will see below. It is easily accessible to people enjoying the beach.

The entire photo this was cut from is below. The coastal cliffs look just like bigger rocks that people have built on. I have no idea how old any of the Pismo rocks are, but I'm quite sure they would also be considered old rocks.



Photos of  San Luis Obispo County Old Rocks to Celebrate Old Rock Day
Enormous Rock on Beach in Pismo Beach, © B. Radisavljevic


Old Rocks in North County Wine Country


Photos of  San Luis Obispo County Old Rocks to Celebrate Old Rock Day
Rocks in My Herb Garden in Templeton, © B. Radisavljevic

Lest you think the South Coast of San Luis Obispo County has a monopoly on large old rocks and boulders, seeing the North County wineries would change your thinking. I'll begin at home in my unruly herb garden. It started around a rock -- that large rock between the upturned flower pot and the rosemary plant in the middle of the photo. 

You will notice there are many smaller rocks in front of it. These rocks are just a small part of the story. If you try to dig a hole over four inches deep almost anywhere on this property you will hit large pieces of shale. 


Most of the wineries near me in what is known as 46 West Wine Country have
also contended with this. There are simply too many rocks to haul away, so the wineries use them creatively to decorate and to use in fencing and signs. Here are some examples. 



Old Rocks on the Eagle Castle / Tooth and Nail Grounds 



Photos of  San Luis Obispo County Old Rocks to Celebrate Old Rock Day
Boulders  at Tooth and Nail Winery, © B. Radisavljevic


We will start with the grounds of what used to be Eagle Castle and is now Tooth and Nail Winery. I took these photos during the Eagle Castle era, but the rocks have remained. One look will tell you why they might not have wanted to move them. They now serve a decorative function. 

Photos of Old San Luis Obispo County Rocks to Celebrate Old Rock Day
Boulders on Grounds at Tooth and Nail Winery, © B. Radisavljevic

This photo shows a couple of these rocks closer up. As you can see, they are enormous and firmly planted. Hauling them away would be no small feat. If you drive west on Highway 46 and visit the wineries, you will find large rocks like this somewhere on the grounds of most of them.


Rocks at Rotta Winery


Photos of  San Luis Obispo County Old Rocks to Celebrate Old Rock Day
Rock Pile at Rotta Winery, © B. Radisavljevic
Moving west we next reach Rotta Winery, which is on Winery Road, just south of 46 West off Vineyard Drive. Rotta, is one of the oldest wineries in the county. There have been vineyards there since 1856. This is a dry-farmed vineyard. They probably had to drag those rocks out of the ground to plant it.


Photos of  San Luis Obispo County Old Rocks to Celebrate Old Rock Day
Stored Rock at Rotta Winery, © B. Radisavljevic
Rotta has used the rocks on its property in fencing, for decorating, and probably for uses I don't know about. I do know that it's hard to be at Rotta for very long without seeing some huge rocks. I assume they are also old rocks.  I took these photos at the end of March, 2014. I'm not sure what these rocks had been or were about to be used for.  They haven't been here by the old winery every time I've visited. This historic building was destroyed by the earthquake of 2003.  It is part of a historical exhibit now.


Photos of Old San Luis Obispo County Rocks to Celebrate Old Rock Day
Boulders at Rotta Winery, © B. Radisavljevic


This row of giant rocks in the photo above decorates the entrance to the Rotta tasting room. I can just imagine how much fun it was to get these out of the ground. 

Old Rocks at Shale Oak Winery


Photos of  San Luis Obispo County Old Rocks to Celebrate Old Rock Day
Rocks Stairs at Shale Oak Winery, © B. Radisavljevic

Shale Oak Winery is a bit North of Rotta as the crow flies. It's on Oakdale Road which runs north off Highway 46 West before you get to Vineyard Drive. It appears they had also a lot of large rocks to deal with. They painted their logo and placed their sign on a boulder. Some of the rocks mark the boundary of their road and parking lot. It appears they also built these stairs up the hill with their rocks. That's the most unique use I saw, so I'm only showing you this photo.


Old Rock at Jack Creek Farm


Photos of  San Luis Obispo County Old Rocks to Celebrate Old Rock Day
Toddler Climbing Boulder at Jack Creek Farm, © B. Radisavljevic
Though not a winery, Jack Creek Farm, west of Vineyard Drive near Jack Creek Road, is still in wine country. It has its own large rock collection. You will see a rock  border between the parking lot and the buildings, and there are also plenty of substantial rocks scattered around the property. Most of them have decorative uses. This rock was near the edge of the parking lot beside a large pumpkin display. I couldn't resist taking this picture, which not only features this cute toddler, but also shows you how big the rock really is. That's part of a wine barrel on the right side.


This Ends My Mini-Tour of Old and Large Rocks 

San Luis Obispo County is so full of these rocks they are almost as common as the trees. Probably they are more common, since most of them are still buried out of sight. Some coastal rocks extend into the water. It would take a scientist to figure out just how old these rocks are, but some have been classified as Jurassic. Surely they are worthy of being celebrated on National Old Rock Day. 


The boulder above was photographed on a view point on Highway 46 West not far from Cambria. That location is not far from where a friend was hit by a boulder about this size during an earthquake on her own property. It broke her back, but she recovered and is lucky to still be alive. God is her rock.