Thursday, June 2, 2016

Devil's Peak - Big Sur

First I hiked peaks
Then I camped by a river

 Back in Big Sur, hiking, camping, swimming and this time, swatting flies.  Hiked to a couple of peaks in the area, in the early summer heat full of blue skies and a light ocean breeze.  Truly magical up there as always, and after sweating it up, a dip in the Little Sur River was quite rewarding.

Most California visitors know about June Gloom, which was in full effect along the coastline.  When I turned up Palo Colorado road, it was a foggy 54 degrees.  After 8 narrow, curvy miles up the road, way above the fogline, the temperature was at 73 and sunny.  Perfect for some outdoor adventures.

After parking the car, and loading up a daypack, I hiked up Skinner Ridge with views over the trees, hills and fog covered ocean.  After a dip down into a valley, it was straight up Devil's Peak to an open meadow with views such as this:

Then around the bend, and up to the next peak, Mt Carmel (4417 ft) which used to have an telegraph pole stuck in the ground at the apex for climbing for higher views.  Or so it showed it a guidebook from 1988.  While the pole had crumbled over the last 25+ years, there was still a large granite rock to climb to the top for complete 360 degree views.  This was my turning around point, two peaks over 4000 feet, and time to head back to the parking lot and switch packs.

Grabbing my large pack with my tent and sleeping bag, and filling up the water, I hiked 2.5 miles down to the Little Sur Camp, with views of the amazing Pico Blanco mountain up above.  I would be camping at it's base, among pine trees, poison oak and the sound of numerous cascading waterfalls in the river.  After setting up the tent, it was straight into the river to wash off the dust of over 12 miles.  Fresh water never felt so good.  Such a peaceful spot, with birds, water rushing over rocks and myself.  Read a bit, ate a bit, and slept a lot.

Next morning I hiked out, drove back to Santa Cruz and went to work.  That's how I roll.  Totally worth the trip down there to kick it with Mother Nature in Big Sur.  Always a pleasure.

Rainy season is over, the dryness is kicking back in

Up in the wilderness with the numerous mountain ranges that make up Big Sur

Peace and quiet at the Little Sur River