A Thrilling excursion Into the Johnson Whales Den
There is a beautiful area in the mountains of Northern California called the Johnson Mountains. It is named after the world renowned naturalist and author Henry Johnson. He had a fascination for all wildlife, and his book about whales was one of his best works. I went to search for the Johnson Mountains with my wife after we bought a house on the Okemos River in Marin County, California.
We drove out to the Johnson Valley High Point Station on State Highway 101, an hour away from our home, and parked on the side of the road. We climbed out of our car, walked to the mountaintop, and immediately we could tell that we were in for a treat. The mountain was completely unfamiliar, but we soon became familiar with its features.
We drove to the top of the ridge and could see the majestic Johnson Whales, condors, black bears, and other bird and animal life. My husband climbed onto the rim of the ravine and pointed out the perfectly matched rock formations. We stood there for a few minutes looking at the creatures and I could not help myself to capture them with my camera. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these formations they are actually thousands of years old, but have only been noticed recently.
As we were looking at the rocks below us we noticed a sea lion waddling along the waters edge. He was exploring for food, and obviously enjoying himself. Suddenly, a big bear walked past him and stopped right in front of our path. He was staring at our food and as he looked back he shouted out “cheese!” out of his deep voice.
We were so startled we thought the bear was going to come right over us. He was just half a mile away when he suddenly turned back. We all ran in different directions, but I kept running, until I saw two fisherman sitting in a drift on the ocean. I told the guys that we had come all the way up here to the Johnson Mountains to see the Johnson Whales den and they said they didn’t know where we could go. We had a good laugh and the guys let us go.
There is a viewing platform right by the Johnson Whales den which overlooks the sea bed and the islands that surround it. If you have never seen whales up close you will absolutely have an amazing view. They come here for the winter to lay their long bodies down to feed. They return each spring to breed. You will not be disappointed when you go to the Johnson Mountains and view these majestic creatures up close.