Nov 092007

Two harbors bison on catalina Two Harbors, Catalina
Photos of Two Harbors, Santa Catalina Island, California

Anna and I took a three day weekend to head out to Two Harbors on Santa Catalina Island. I have been meaning to get out there for a long time, but when a cheap trip came up by way of a local dive group, it was too good to pass up. I’m glad we went, it was well worth it.

Two Harbors is a quiet place, at least this time of year. The village is really just a collection of houses, a camp ground, a historic hotel, general store, bar, and a dive shop. We stayed in cabins that are used for staff housing in the summer, so I’d guess it can be packed in peak season. For a fall weekend, it seemed like the perfect size and temperament for us.

We had a great time kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, and (just me) diving (more on snorkeling & diving in a future post). One of Anna’s goals was to see a buffalo, sorry, bison on the island. Leftovers from a movie in the 20’s the herd is now over 200 strong, and a major tourist draw. They are also a burden on the slow growing native grasses and shrubs of the island, and the subject of a lot of controversy.

We assumed we would need to do some serious hiking to find the bison herd in the hills. However, after kayaking we wandered into the center of town to see a bison standing on one of the only patches of grass, in center of town. He was munching on lush green grass, and getting hosed off by the sprinklers. The lakes are dry, and the herd has been having a tough time finding water. So when someone left the gate open, this guy decided to visit town.

A few people were standing too close to him, and the bison was staring them down. One of the dive shop workers told them about a guy that got too close to a herd the day before, and now has a new hole in his ass. They backed up, and the bison went back to munching.

He was there for a good half hour, we came back to town just as he was stepping off the grass patch, and making his way through town to the road. Stray cats and people slunk back into the nearest doorway as he slowly walked between the palm trees across the sand without incident.

More to come on scuba & snorkeling in a future post. Update, post is here: Diving and snorkeling near Two Harbors, Catalina Island

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