Apologies in advance, but since this was our big hiking day and the weather was gorgeous, this post is loaded with photos. The first hike we set out on (after eating some delicious camping breakfast burritos) was the McWay Waterfall Trail, located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. It was a short and easy one, and a great way to stretch out our legs for the following hikes. Unfortunately, we were there before noon, so the waterfall on the (inaccessible) beach was in shadow. The view was still amazing.
You had to walk under Highway 1 to get to the trail – this is the tunnel.
After that, we drove a little bit north and trekked down to the Partington Cove Trail (still in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park). We walked out on this trail to a bench at the end and had our lunch there.
The other fork of this trail leads to a cove with a “beach” full of pebbles and rocks, and people have built cairns all over it, which is pretty neat. The waves were really crashing against the rocks, and there was a stream winding through them to get to the ocean, so I had lots of fun shooting all of it.
And then we searched out the jaw-dropping awesomeness of Pfeiffer Beach State Park. It was at the end of an unmarked road off of Highway 1, and was possibly the windiest location I have ever experienced. Which was all sorts of fun with a camera, considering the blowing sand, but the giant rocks popping up out of the sand were so amazing that I couldn’t resist taking tons of photos.
There were huge strands of kelp washed up onshore, and after walking for awhile, we noticed the entrance to a forest right off of the beach. It was a great place to rest and get out of the insistent gusts for awhile. Walking out of it, the light was so beautiful and warm.
We saw this lonely dead fish on the walk back to the parking lot, and E wrote RIP in the sand next to it. It reminded me of the Salton Sea.
We weren’t done hiking yet, but we probably should have been. Note to self – don’t start a 3-mile roundtrip hike (Buzzards Roost Trail in Pfeiffer Big Sur) 30 minutes before sunset. We made it to the top in time to catch the sunset, as you can see from the photos, but the hike down was a bit scary, especially with only one flashlight between us and trees branches falling in the woods around us due to the high winds.
Actually, that night as we were sleeping, a huge tree branch fell down within about 15 yards of our tent. It was the only night of the trip that I didn’t sleep well. But we survived both and were sad to say goodbye to our campsite the next day.