We're going all the way back to 2006 for this post! That is when my wife and I visited Northern California. One of my favorite places was Point Lobos. For you literary types, this was where the character "Doc" in John Steinbeck's Cannery Row used to go to escape the cannery scene and collect wildlife from the tide pools. You can't do that today, since this is a protected area.
The photo above shows a unique geological feature of Point Lobos. If you are ever doing a class project on "sedimentary rock" or "conglomerate", you couldn't find a better picture.
Geologists call this the "Carmelo Formation". It was created 60 million years ago, when some canyons that were previously on land found themselves under the sea. Runoff from the land filled these submarine canyons over the millennia. The layers that contain pebbles mark the times when volcanoes had recently erupted inland, and the runoff contained rocks ejected from the volcanoes.
Check out this website for more details on the geology and other natural features of Point Lobos.
If you are curious to see what Cannery Row looks like today, see the photo below. Yes, the third sign from the right says "Starbucks". And those aren't sardines in the carts those people are pushing up the hill. Poor Steinbeck is spinning in his grave.