Montaña de Oro fine art panorama
Miquelito shale, Central Coast of California, near San Luis Obispo
Montaña de Oro state park is located on the Central California Coast, about 16 miles from the town of San Luis Obispo. Meaning Mountains of Gold in Spanish, this state park is named for the golden wildflowers which bloom there in spring. At over 8,000 acres, it is one of California’s largest state parks. This Central Coast treasure offers miles of hiking trails, breath taking ocean views and 1,347 foot high Valencia Peak.
During my most recent visit to see our wonderful daughter, Emma who is attending Cal Poly University in nearby San Luis Obispo, I was fortunate to make multiple landscape photography expeditions to this state park.
During that visit, I captured the fine art photograph, “Grotto Rock”, Montaña de Oro State Park.
This stunning seastack has a large arched tunnel all the way through its base. I am bewildered that this fragile looking formation is still standing. Grotto Rock and the sight where I captured this new panorama are both located along the bluff trail which starts at the main parking area for the park.
While scouting the park I noticed distinctive, texturally rich rock formations that jutted into the Pacific ocean. I was smitten. The warm textures of this striated rock held remarkable detail and contrasted nicely with the blue-green waters of the Pacific. I would later learn that these striated rock formations were composed of deceased sea creatures and oceanic debris which were compressed over time into distinct layers. They were eventually uplifted out of the Pacific by interactions between tectonic plates which converge along the Pacific Coast of California. These striated rock formations are commonly referred to as Miguelito shale, a Spanish word which means “Little Mike” in English. Coincidentally, I was referred to as Little Mike for the first 18 years of my life!
I love the color and texture variations in this beautiful new fine art Panorama of Montaña de Oro. Crashing waves, and the rugged layers of Miguelito shale combine to create a symbiotic beauty which captures this stunning area of the Central California Coast.