Big Sur

One of the best walks I have done; huge redwoods, sparkling blue water, valleys that sweep to the sea and weather that campers in Britain can only dream about – more to follow.

Okay what have I missed out? Gosh we have done so much since leaving LA. We had planned to be exploring Yosemite by now but we bumped into Big Sur and really got stuck.

I must admit I had begun to dispare that all we would do is travel from one large campsite to another and not explore. I voiced this to a park ranger and he produced the first topographical map I had seen in the US. It showed a string of campsites all about 5miles apart stretching into the Ventana Wilderness Oh what a smile, what a grin i had, people must have thought me half crazed as I glided around the supermarket picking up bumper packs of Beef Jerky and noodles (no oat nains though). We were to leave the next day.

As usual we went for the early start of mid-day just so we could really back in the heat of California. The first mile was a very tough climb on the sunny side of the mountain but as we reached the top of the first spur the track went into shade and we could enjoy ourselves a bit more. The track still climbed and would do so for the next 3 miles but it was amongst towering redwoods. These are fantastic trees, reaching up towards the 100m mark, living 1000s of years and even having family groups that can support less fit trees.

( I promise you I have seen an albino tree – I know how mad is that! It’s leaves lacked chlorophyl and so were almost white. It grew because itshared the roots of its family trees.  hey I got very excited by it all even if “it is just a small tree” – Jacob.)

I though we might head out toward the hot springs , a two day trip. We made it to Outlaw Camp, just over half way. On the way we met a very hot looking dog and his owner who happened to have no pants (American usage, of course as we wouldn’t have known) on. He assured us that it was only because it was a bit hot – makes it okay then. Anyway we got chatting and he suggested another campsite as everyone goes to the springs but if we went down a spur then there was a site just as pretty -minus the springs but with less people. You might wonder why we would trust a man with little on other than the hairs on his legs but he seemed to make sense and so we set off for Ventana camp. I am so pleased we did.

The camp was a delight, I expected some cowboys to ride into camp any moment. The first night we had the place to ourselves. We decided to stay an extra night so early the next morning I was dispatched to get some extra supplies and put more money into the parking metre. At $5 a day , one of the cheapest camping sites we’ve stayed at. I met lots of people along the way but as our trouser less park guide had said most people head straight for the springs.

I did meet a couple who were going to Ventana, they had been there over 10 years before and wanted to return. They were very chpper the first time I met them, but when I caught up with them on my return leg they were suffering from the heat. It was hot, I had a lovely cool walk out but the temperature rose steadily and by the time I was returning it was getting to the hottest part of the day. The couple I met; Richard and Laura, had not factored in the advancement of 10 years to their walking schedule, and were realising that the silver ware that they needed for the romantic evening was a tad over ambitious. Plus their 9 month puppy was not coping well with his supplies of doggy stuff.

We all cooled off in some of the pools and explored down stream for a bit. Jacob and Louise spent lots of time playing with Richard and Laura’s dog. I must admit to being a bit nervous at first since even at 9 months he was incredibly strong, but Finn just liked to play around with the children so we let them splash while we chatted on.

Walking out the next day was a lot easier than coming in as we managed to get away at an astounding 10 am, quite unheard of in our family annuals of camping achievements.


9 thoughts on “Big Sur

  1. The Cheltenham Armchair Travellers

    Sounds great. Look forward to reading about it. Weather here has been good too so don’t feel too smug! Love to you all especially birthday girl (next week)

  2. The Cheltenham Armchair Travellers

    Wow – I can see what you mean! I love the way your camera shows the depth of view. You all look very fit and happy xx

    • It was one of those surprises. I thought we would just drive straight up to San Francisco. Wandering around in Ventana (Big Sur) was great, up there with New Zealand.

  3. Big Sur is one of the most beautiful areas on the planet. Everyone looks very happy. Even Jacob is smiling! There must have been a large ice cream at the end of the trek…
    Years ago Claire and I spent a happy summer there. Truly lovely spot.
    Glad you are all still smiling. Big hugs to Jakes and Louise. Congrats to John on great bush craft.
    See you soon.

  4. rich roberts

    Just caught your most recent update.Photos are great .You really seem into this travelling now looking very relaxed.Big Sur looks wonderful.
    Warmer in Clara now we’re actually above zero most days!
    Enjoy the rest of trip,
    Love Jo Rich Will and Isla XXX

  5. A lot of miles to go, California has taken almost 4 out of the 6 weeks we thought it would take to get all the way to Canada. We keep on finding interesting bits. See you August.

  6. Kirsty

    Hi You Lovely Folk – Angela, John, Jacob and Louise. You look absolutely amazing. You are all looking fit, bronzed and beautiful. We have been following you on for the last 9 months (where has that time gone) and as time has passed your stories get more relaxed and interesting and your photos look incredible. Our Special Clan is great and looking forward to seeing you in August. Your loan of the roof box has been a blessing. Take care of each other. Love and hugs from Us xxx

    • Good to hear from you. We may have relaxed a tad too far as we are finding it hard to travel more than 200 miles before we find something interesting to see. Yet we still need to get up to Canada. Clara is looming on the horizon and I am not sure I am ready to go home yet.

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