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Monday, July 19, 2010

Big Sur July 2010

An interesting trip. The last 2 years of high school I lived in Monterey, spent quite some time in Big Sur. Alot of time in college, too. Haven't been back in a while, and we (S Bee and I) paid the price. My plan was to avoid the summer crowds by staying up top; we came in from the Hunter-Liggett side cause I wasn't sure the Peanut could get up Nacimiento-Fergusson from the 1. This was all well and good 'cept it was 90-100 degrees out up top, hence S Bee wanted to be down in the fog. So we're cruising along the South Coast Ridge Road in her low clearance Honda Civic, slightly sketchy but ok. Turned down to come in to Plaskett by the backdoor, so we could camp in the fog via a dirt road (you can camp anywhere, legally, in National Forest if it's off of a dirt road). Everything was ok, minus some semi-minor ground clearance issues, till we reached a locked gate. Uh oh. Backtracked and carried on to the south -- I thought we might have turned down too soon or something. Many miles later I reckoned we were bound for the dirt road that comes up from Willow Creek. Her car was doing well. We nearly turned around, and then wished we had during a gnarly, washed out ascent. The Peanut did well, but we over-worked it.

So we turned around. A low point. Hallelujahs for the pavement. Fog clearly visible below. There was some really cool evidence of the 2008 fires. Redwoods that had everything green burned off of them looked like sticks with green carpet glued to them. Kinda like how boojums look in Baja after it rains. Basically every bit of wood on the redwoods was resprouting. Really odd and cool looking. We pulled in to the tight turn with the creek and redwoods and things really began looking up. Washed the heat/grime/sweat off of ourselves. A semblance of joy was returning. Tempered by the fact that everyone and their mother was driving up Nacimiento-Fergusson to find a campsite cause the sea-level ones were all gone. No worries says the former Monterey County local. The Peanut was blowing smoke so we got some oil and cold beer in Lucia, then headed south for some commando camping. We turned up Plaskett Road and the painted sign said locked gate 5 miles -- guess the road washed out in the 2004-5 El Nino or something. What we ended up finding wasn't ideal, but it worked.

Dinner was grassfed beef Bratwurst from the farmer's market. After the long day of driving anything would have been good, but they were amazing. Breakfast next day included PB&J on a croissant which was unbelievably epic: 2009 was a good year for apricot preserves, plus it was on a croissant.... Lots of other tasty treats, too.

Sunday we tooled around in the redwood grove that is 1 or 2 valleys north of the big Salmon Creek grove, and then made our way back down the 1. Went to Montana de Oro for the first time, one of S Bee's favorite places. Hmmm, running out of steam on the write-up. Time for pics. The full albums are here and here. Will likely add S Bee's later, too.
full trunk resprout
green carpeting the upper limbs
more resprouting

charred madrone
sketchy digicam focus, but fun facial expressions; redwoods + creek area

1/30th second and slower and water looks awesome
self portrait. S Bee took a real portrait but I don't like pics of myself...
charred log
the Peanut in the bend
cotton candy water
post swim
temperature was about 40 degrees lower down below

girl and her beer
breakfast of champions

coolest spoon ever, freebin find

grove north of Salmon Creek.

Peanut is back there somewhere

cool mossy char

my fave pic of the lot
I'd rather drink muddy water and sleep in a hollow log

lichen-y dead redwood

nice grain

Ragged Point area

South end of Montana de Oro, there are Bishop Pines on the hill with the fog on it

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