Much like the Swallows return to San Juan Capistrano each year, the Monarch butterfly migrates south to Pismo Beach to winter among a small grove of Eucalyptus trees just a few hundred feet from the sandy beach. This is the largest flutter of Monarch butterflies in the United States with their numbers ranging in the tens of thousands. West Coast Challengers would trek northward, up the Central Coast, en route to Pismo Beach to witness this year’s migration.

Club members woke early Sunday morning and gathered at one of three meeting locations. The Orange County club members met in Lakewood and caravanned up to Van Nuys to pick up those in the Los Angeles area. The CenCal club members would meet up with the main group from SoCal in Grover Beach. All would make the short trip from there to Pismo Beach and the grove where we would encounter the Monarch butterflies.

Having met up with everyone, both the CenCal and SoCal club members took to the road. The SoCal group would take Highway 101 up the Central Coast, with it’s scenic ocean views, while the CenCal group would come across Highway 58 and enjoy the twists and turns of that route.

The SoCal club members stopped in Camarillo along the way at County Rod Shop and paid them a visit. They were busy at work creating a new frame for their next project hot rod.

The trip up the Central Coast a was beautiful and the line of Dodge Challengers attracted a lot of attention along the way. Radios, so we could communicate with each other, made the cruise all the more fun.

Upon arriving at Grover Beach, the CenCal members of the club rolled in within minutes of the SoCal group. We all decided to eat lunch before visiting the butterflies in the grove just a block away. We had all met up at Fin’s Seafood restaurant right on the beach and decided to have lunch there.

After lunch we strolled out onto an observation deck by the restaurant to get a great view of the coast.

It was finally time to head over to the butterfly grove. The club members caravanned over to Pismo Beach and then set off on foot for the grove. Inside, the butterflies were clinging to the tree branches in clumps. Many looked just like the tree leaves — until they open their wings to display their brilliant orange or yellow colorings.

After visiting the butterflies in the grove, club members took off in various directions. Some explored the surrounding trails while others walked down to the beach and took time to relax a bit.

Afternoon came quickly and it began getting late. The club members left Pismo Beach in several groups and headed home. The CenCal group together and the SoCal members leaving in two groups. The last group of the SoCal members hit Santa Barbara just as the sun was setting. While the club members were watching what was turning out to be a beautiful sunset in their rear view mirrors, a beach access off ramp appeared which the club members quickly took advantage of and hurried to photograph the sunset.

With the sun setting on yet another great West Coast Challengers event, the club members all arrived home safely after having traveled some 400 miles today.

More pictures from the cruise can be found in our club photo gallery.

Butterflies by the Beach

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  1. […] month alone, a record for the club. The club also held many memorable events in 2011, such as the Butterflies by the Beach cruise to Pismo Beach and the club photo shoot inside of the Tustin Hangars, and the unforgettable […]

  2. […] “Butterflies by the Beach” – Central Coast Cruise […]