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Field Trip: San Gregorio Beach & JV Fitzgerald Marine Reserve June 3

Richard Mirabella | Published on 5/10/2022

Summary of what happened on the Field Trip

We had a good turn-out for this field trip and had a great time with photography, socializing and making new friends.   For a few members, this was their first in-person Camera Club Event, while they were members for more than a year.

We had a wonderful fog that the group thought made for more interesting photography than would be the case with a clear blue-sky. There were very few people at either location that were not Palo Alto Club members - thanks to the fog

The Fog persisted into the afternoon when we were at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve from 1pm to 3pm

Immediately below are some photos members took on the Field Trip that they were willing to share on this web page.

Photos taken at San Gregorio State Beach in the Morning
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Photos taken at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in the Afternoon
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Macro Photography taken mainly at San Gregorio taking advantage of the fog's dew putting water droplets on the subjects
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Photos of member on the Field Trip
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Below is the original Webpage describing the Field Trip to inform members considering whether or not to go on the trip


The theme for this field trip is photography and socializing at two very different photography locations on the nearby Pacific Coast. Join other club members and their guests at San Gregorio State Beach and/or JV Fitzgerlad Marine Reserve on Friday, June 3, 2022

Depending upon your interests and schedule, you may want to join us at one of the locations or both.  Just be aware of what times we plan to be at the two locations.

We will be at San Gregorio Beach from 10:30am to 12:00pm; picnic lunch from 12:00 to 12:30pm at San Gregorio Beach at the picnic tables.

At 12:30pm we will depart to go to JV Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, and will be there from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
San Gregorio State Beach (10:30am to 12:00 noon Photography, 12:00noon to 12:30pm picnic lunch at the picnic tables)

Located immediately South of the intersection of Hwy 1 and Hwy 84 on the California Coast.

The area includes a protected, driftwood-strewn estuary at the back of a wide, sandy beach with grassy bluffs along the coast. The estuary is home to many birds and small animals. California Historical Landmark 26 commemorates the passage of Spanish explorer Captain Gaspar de Portolá through this area in October 1769.

There is a large parking lot near the park entrance with a parking fee.  If you have a State Beach & Parks annual permit, remember to bring it.

There are picnic tables and public toilets at this location.

We are scheduled to be at this beach during low tide, so getting near or past San Gregorio Creek should be easy, but bringing waterproof footwear is advised.  It will be water a few inches deep and a few feet wide.

Note that getting from the parking lot to the beach requires going on moderately steep natural trails, so judge your ability to go here conservatively.

Items to bring:

1 - Food and drink for picnic lunch

2 - Good footwear for going on sandy and potentially slippery trails.  Hiking shoes or boots are best and should have a good sole.

3 - Access to the full beach area may require crossing a few feet of a few inches of depth of water flowing from San Gregorio Creek into the ocean. So bringing waterproof footwear such as Teva Sandals, Crocs or waterproof hiking boots may come in handy.

4 - Bringing hiking/treking poles is always a good idea

5 - Bring a jacket, the coast can be much cooler with much more wind than in Palo Alto.

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JV Fitzgerald Marine Preserve (1:00pm to 3pm photography)

Link to San Mateo County Parks Website for Fitzgerald Marine Reserve 

We are going to the Northwest part of J V Fitzgerald Marine Reserve targeting the Old Growth Forest between Bluff Trail and Dardanelle Trail. If you go to the tide pool areas, please be careful and be conservative as to where you go.

There are stairs to go to the beach from the Bluff Trail (near the badge #7 is on the map).  The stairs quite new and will bring you to an interesting location on the beach.

As the parking lot for this section of Fitzgerald is frequently full, I recommend using street parking near 221 Cypress Ave, Moss Beach, CA 94038 as show in yellow in the map to the right near the "Free Parking" icon. To my taste, I prefer entering this section of Fitzgerald from this area.
Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Map 

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