Sunday, May 18, 2014

Big Sur May 2014

Remember to click on any picture to enlarge it and open a film strip.

We got out of town on Sunday and headed for Big Sur. Having never stayed in the area we did not know what we would find. Got several suggestions from WTW on what to see. Six weeks before we went to Pinnacles NP, the hills that were green then are brown and dry now,  Summer comes quick to the California hills. This trip repost will be heavy with pictures as everywhere you look in Big Sur looks like a postcard.

Our goal for the first day was to get to Kirk Creek NFS campground. We did not think it would be a problem finding a spot on a Sunday night. We got the next to the last spot and the last spot was gone as we registered.

Our campsite at Kirk Creek.

The drive over was Sunday light on traffic until we got to Carmel. Followed one BMW driving 30 mph or less for 20 miles.  You would think you were in disneyland with all the people on the road from Carmel to Big Sur. Just 30 miles and you are in a different world. Redwood trees, mountains and views of the Pacific. Big Sur is a resort area with prices to match. Gas was $5.99 per gallon! $2.00 increase from 30 miles ago. The Post Ranch Inn is in this area, you can spend over $2,000 per night there. We stopped at the Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant as we were told Nepenthe was too expensive but had a nice view. Two lunches with modest tip $40.00, one loaf of bread and two pastries another $20.00 I must be getting old, that is a lot of money.

From the Big Sur Bakery we drove 40 miles south to Kirk Creek and our stop for the night. You drop out of the Redwoods and down to the cliffs over the rocky shore. This is what everyone thinks of when they hear Big Sur.

The road is a great feat of engineering finished in the early 40's.  One of the great motorcycle roads in the world, just not on a weekend. Lots of slow traffic today. Decided to drive straight to the campground no where to park at the vista points anyway.

After we got camp setup took the trail to the very rocky beach.  The weather was picture perfect.

The trail got tight with wild flowers.

Some of the wild life we saw on the trail.

Down on the beach, Lots of Rocks

Wild life on the trail to the beach.

Sunset from our camp. We enjoyed the camp fire
as we watched the sun go down.


We enjoyed our stay at Kirk Creek Campground.

Monday May 19, 2014

Our day to get out and see the sites of Big Sur without all the weekend crowds. We were up early and enjoyed the heater warming the camper. Breakfast and a morning walk to get the day going. The DC fridge is working just like a fridge at home, this was a good decision.

Saw a pop up camper I had not seen before.
A Shadow Cruiser on a first generation Tundra.

We headed up the coast to find Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Every turn out had a postcard view. Weather was
also perfect.

McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Sunday there was nowhere to park, on Monday no problem. I did not know there was no sand beach here until after a landslide in 1983 dropped so much sand in the ocean that a beach formed.

Overlook at McWay Falls just below the site of Julia Pfeiffer Burns house. You can still see the foundations. Their will required the house be torn down, what a shame. "In deeding Saddle Rock Ranch to the state, Helen Hooper Brown specified that the land to the west of Highway 1 should be "unmarred by further construction or out-of-place man-made improvements" and that the Waterfall House should be made into a "museum for the custody and display of indigenous Indian relics, flora and fauna of the
California coastal area, and historical objects pertaining to the Big Sur country."
If the house was not made into a museum within five years, it was to be razed. In the end, various obstacles kept the state from acting--a shortage of funds, competing museums, lack of easy access to the site. Five years passed, and in 1965 the house was torn down."

We headed up the road to find a place to get a campfire permit as we planned to camp at Prewitt Ridge a NFS dispersed campsite. Pulled into Big Sur State Park and got a campfire permit.

Had to take a picture of the fees to camp at Big Sur State Park. Looks like CA is using the "Because We Can" system of pricing. $50.00 to camp and you still have to pay for a shower. 

We did stop at Henry Miller Memorial Library, not what I expected. Like much of Big Sur had the old hippy feel to it. Next we were off to Pfeiffer Beach to find the purple sand.

This sign is not visible from Hwy 1. 

The road to Pfeiffer Beach is not marked from Hwy 1! We asked and were told the second right turn after Big Sur Station the road with the Narrow Road sign.

Two miles of one lane road and you reach the beach and pay $5.00 to park. We had lunch in the camper before walking to the beach. Lots of people for a Monday and windy. How windy?  We were told free skin abrasion at the beach.

Video of Veronica on the beach.  

The sea was coming through the rocks at the beach.

Someone once said to be old and wise you must first be young and stupid.  This young guy jumped in on a dare. He is on his way to being old and wise. On the way out he yelled don't do this.

The Purple Sand of Pfeiffer Beach.    

After being wind blown at Pfeiffer Beach we headed for Prewett Ridge in search of Sunman's secret camping spot.
On the way down Hwy 1 we went through a man made tunnel to keep the rock from blocking the road. Great job by Caltrans. 

We turned on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. 12 miles from Hwy 1 to Prewitt Ridge, 1/2 of the way on dirt roads. 

Some of the road was just graded. 

                         The dirt road.
The Fog or Cloud starts to come in.

We set up camp and the wind picks up blowing 30 mph plus. We were at 3,300 feet by the GPS.
The ocean was visible for about 10 seconds gone before I could get my camera ready.
Veronica did not like the weather or the camping spot. The fog was getting to thick to find Sunman's camping spot. Checking the time and map we decided to go down the mountain and check out Plasketts campground.  Plasketts Creek Road looked like the short way and what was shown on the Garmin as the fast way. After two miles we hit a locked gate! So much for the short way off the mountain. We turned around and headed back the way we came.  We were rewarded with great views as we drove out of the cloud. 

Found Plasketts to be nice green campground. Five truck campers in the campground most I have ever seen. Three large hard side campers, an Outlander pop up and our FWC. We settled in and had dinner, some of the best soup with Big Sur Bakery bread after a long day of driving. 

The next morning we were ready to head north and toward home.  Stopped at several of the vista points as we could park today.

Sand Dollar Beach 

 I called this poop rock. Click to see the birds. 

Stopped at the Bixby Bridge for pictures. On Sunday when we went by there was nowhere to park. 

The weather started to change at Bixby Bridge and the mist was falling. Had to put the wipers on by the time we got to Carmel.  Another fun trip in our Camper, hope you enjoyed the blog.