Friday was another amazing experience with the students from Kristin Sullivan's class at Branch Elementary in Arroyo Grande. These students were avid outdoor enthusiasts, and many were really into hiking. There were plenty of other hikers on the trail, and a large contingent of mountain bikers as well. Fortunately we started our hike early before it got to crowded on the trail. On the way up the peak, we ran into my friend Heidi Harmon, our recently elected Mayor in San Luis Obispo. The view north and south was magnificent, the weather was ideal, and we were able to spot some of the early wildflowers like Indian paint brush, monkey flower, golden poppies, and several others. We visited The Creek at Santa Rosa Park during lunch, and students were able to enjoy watching the rushing water and dipping the toes in the cascade of fresh water draining from the watershed just north of town. The latter part of the afternoon was spent exploring the pillow lava formations At Port San Luis in Avila Bay.
It's always gratifying to watch children exploring the outdoors, they seem to gravitate toward exploration inherently. All of their various learning stages involved exploring their environments as an integral part of their self-education. Engaging all the senses is how most people come to develop personal relationships with nature. It is important that young people have opportunities to bond with the natural world.
Cero San Luis And Port San Luis are two excellent examples of underwater volcanic activity. The volcanic plugs of the "Sisters" were first formed in Southern California during a period when the oceanic and continental plates were converging. The pillow lava that forms the bluffs near Port San Luis were formed at underwater vents, were molten hot lava seeping from the vents in the ocean floor, came in contact with cold ocean water. the balloon shapes are the result of the rapid cooling of the lava's crust as the lava extruded into the cold water.