Sunday, March 14, 2010

Big Sur March 13, 2010

Little Sur River
Length: 5.6 miles
Elevation Change: 1,200 feet
People: Mike (Dad), Jeremy, Vitor, Mocha and me

We have recently found the beauty and attraction of the coast in the winter. While it’s cold and foggy in the central valley we can travel 2 hours to a warm sunny place called Big Sur. There are also great places like Carmel, Monterey and Pismo to visit too. And all those pretty coastline pictures with cliffs and bridges come from Big Sur, so you can imagine how spectacularly beautiful it is there.

We have been to Big Sur a couple of times before but this trip was specifically to do a nice hike and scope out fun things to do during Thanksgiving when the Nimon Family comes to Carmel, CA. As soon as we turned off of Highway 1 we were under towering trees and small moss covered houses. Jeremy’s tagline for the area was, “Hate Sun, come live here.” To get to the first hike we took a narrow winding road to the top of a coastal mountain. Once we reached the top we could see all the way to a small little campfire that was burning off in the distance,

which we assumed would be our end destination. The trail followed a fire road for the first 1.8 miles going very steeply down the hillside. The views of the Coast Mountains were gorgeous, definitely a different view of Big Sur. There was then a turn off before you get to the boy scouts camp that takes you down a deer trail the remaining 1 mile. It was nice and shaded.

Then we were down by the river, at a quaint little spot with 2 camping spots right next to the river. It was very pretty and tranquil and cold! We did not stay down there for long.

Then we hiked back out! And man did it suck! Or maybe I sucked… sucked air that is. It was entirely uphill, no flat area, no dips in the trail, just up, up and away.
The best part was once we got to the top my mom wandered down to walk the last ¼ mile back with me because she claimed that the boys ditched me. To which I laughed because I am so used to hiking on my own, as the slowest hiker in the group. Plus those 3 guys are close to the fastest hikers I know. Once at the top we hopped back in the car and continued to the next more scenic and easy hike.

Partington Tunnel
Length: 1 mile
Elevation Change: 280 feet
People: Mike (Dad), Jeremy, Vitor and me

This was a cool hike my dad found in the Day Hikes Around Big Sur book he has. The trail is right off Highway 1, a little hard to find but well worth the hassle. It takes you down a short but steep fire road and over to an old tunnel.

The tunnel cuts through a cliff and spits you out at a “Pirate Cove”. This cove actually used to be used for loading and unloading lumber in the good old days

before the Sierra Club… oops did I type that out loud?! It was a wonderful view, right up next to the ocean and the crashing waves and no sand on your feet or between your toes. In my opinion the whole coast should be like that. And look like that, smog free and salty tasting, so maybe there is a place in this world for the Sierra Club.

Out on the rocky, cliff side point there was a bunch of people fishing and there was a nice bench to sit and relax. It was a serene place. After that we hoofed it back up to the top to meet up with mom and Mocha at the car. Jeremy made sure to stay back with me while coming up the hill so that my mom wouldn’t get mad again.

McWay Falls
Length: 0.5 miles
People: Mike (Dad), Kathy (Mom), Jeremy, Vitor, Mocha and me

This is a hike we do every time we come to Big Sur. It is the picture on the front of the Big Sur hiking book and my dad had to find it. We also found out it is one of the most photographed places in California. And you will see why. The trail is very easy, flat for the most part. The trail takes you to a view point that shows the waterfall perfectly! And it also puts you right at the base of an old house that has been demolished and grown over for the last 50 years, the history person in me loves that. It is just breath taking. Which I know I have been saying on all of these hikes, but they really are spectacular, which is why we like this newly discovered gem we have found on the central coast of California!

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