Once I drove past the mountanous part, I looked for the point along Highway One where I'd seen the seals the other day.

Several miles down the stretch of road, I noticed a likely spot in the distance with some offshore rocks. But then I noticed a big crowd of people standing at the overlook point. This wasn't the exact spot, but very close to it.

I have no idea how I overlooked this the other day. When I parked and looked down at the beach, I saw an amazing (yet comical) spectacle: hundreds of elephant seals ashore on the beach, sunbathing. I might have passed the site by that day because I didn't see any other onlookers and didn't expect to see anything like this so close to human access.

They were parked on the beach like so many Jabba The Hutts, snorting, scratching, and tossing sand on themselves; most of them at rest; a few inching themselves along, and a few brief one-on-one interactions.

Two adolescent males practice-fighting.

A female rebuffs the advances of a young male.