I left Alameda at noon last Sunday and drove to San Gregorio State Beach via the San Mateo Bridge (Highway 92), taking a detour South on the Skyline Highway (35) through La Honda to avoid the bumper to bumper pilgrimage down to Half Moon Bay.  The moderately long drive rewarded me with a secluded beach, an opportunity to sharpen my video making skills, and a multitude of skittish Heerman’s gulls for wildlife photography.

Note: if you want to get to San Gregorio State Beach via Half Moon Bay on a sunny Sunday afternoon, you need to make an early start, say 8 am.  Otherwise, be sure to turn left off of Highway 92 (coming from San Mateo) at the summit of the ridge, and follow Highway 35.

The San Gregorio Road took me right down to Highway 1 – the epic coastal California highway.  But Highway 1 was pretty much bumper to bumper in the mid afternoon.  So after waiting a few minutes for a break in the traffic,  I drove  directly across to the beach parking lot where I happily paid the $8 fee parking fee.

I grabbed my backpack with camera gear, binoculars, blanket, fleece jacket, lunch, water bottles and set off South down the beach, walking on the firmer sand of the beach wash.

Ultimately, I had probably a mile long stretch of beach to myself apart from the occasional beach comber and jogger.  It was just me, the gulls, the pelicans and the Pacific Ocean.

After enjoying the beach for a couple of hours, traffic heading south on Highway 1 had dissipated  to a trickle so I headed South to Santa Cruz, then returned to Alameda via Highway 17 through San Jose.

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