Culture | History | Travel

Morro Rock

When you’ve driven down the coast of California you’ve seen plenty of rocks in the water, and Morro Rock might be considered one more in a string of them. And yet it’s different from the rest. There’s a presence emanating from this big boulder that attracts you to it. Two Native American tribes, the Chumash and the Salinan, thought of the tock as sacred. Explorers mentioned it as a landmark, and it does jump out at you from miles away.

Like most of nature, white settlers thought of it differently. When you call something a “natural resource” it somehow gives you license to put it through indignities or use it up entirely. It was quarried for a time, until the community saw it’s value more clearly and protected it. But rather than make it a centerpiece of a larger park someone else had the idea to stick a huge three stack power plant in front of it. I’m sure my timelines are off, but each of these things clearly happened.

Despite all that, there’s a nice beach and access to the base of Morro Rock. It still has something to say. I think maybe it’s “leave me alone, I’ve had enough of you’.

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