Wednesday, May 23, 2012


...Which of course stands for Bring Your Own Pestle.  I posted about this place before but since that post lacked photographs it was essentially useless.  Which distinguished it not at all from most of my posts.  Not four miles from where I'm sitting is Morro Bay State Park.  The park's wonderful little Natural History Museum is tucked behind a huge rock outcrop.

(Click to enlarge)

Carved out of the bedrock, as the sign helpfully points out, are mortars used by the indigenous Chumash people to grind acorns into meal and flour.  If you squint through the trees you see the water of Morro Bay.  What a life that would have been!  Sitting overlooking the bay and visiting with friends while grinding a year's worth of nutrition.  And yes, they each brought their own personal pestles.  Here's a better shot, sans signage:

(Click to enlarge)

How, you ask, could they have overlooked the bay when sitting astride these mortars, what with all the vegetation in the way?  Let's look up, shall we?

(Click to enlarge)

I don't think these bloody eucalyptus were here when the Chumash were actively using this site.  I think that perhaps a little "ground line pruning" would be in order here.

My son's elementary school toured the Natural History Museum and the guide made a special point of showing them these mortars.  I first learned of them several years ago, long before I had any idea that fate would land me just around the bay, when on a business trip to the area I stopped by the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and asked if they knew of any bedrock mortars nearby.  The woman there told me of this spot, but I was crushed for time and didn't get a chance to visit back then.  No doubt her recollection springs from a childhood visit to the site as well.  It's very cool to know that school children in this area are made aware of this amazing place, right at the age when such things make a deep impression on them.

No comments:

Post a Comment