JT's Journal of the Family Hike in Big Sur

California Connie's high school age son, JT provides his journal of the family hike in Big Sur, Summer, 2001

Day 1 - Family Leaves for Big Sur


On Monday June 18, 01, we started heading for Big Sur. We frequently visit this pleasant coastal region, but this year it seemed more exciting. My mom had spent weeks planning and setting up some really great hikes for us while we were camping at the Limekiln State Park campground. As we were driving down HWY 1, I thought about the fact that we were driving on the edge of the United States. That was pretty cool. The ocean was a dark blue with greenish blue waters closer to shore. It looked like the kind of ocean you would see in Hawaii or Florida Keys.

We arrived at Limekiln State Park at about 3:30 that afternoon. Half the park was closed due to construction. They were putting in better restrooms for the campers. Limekiln is a pretty cool place. There is one really good trail there which leads to the Limekilns. In the 1800s, the Limekilns were used in a several day process to make concrete. They were filled with rock and lime. A furnace at the bottom of the kilns cooked the lime out of the rocks, creating a real stone soup. It was then used in building materials.

The park has all sorts of neat features. It also has beach access. On the beach, there's a stream that goes straight into the ocean. It's pretty neat.

We like looking at the stars but here in the city we don't see them clearly.

Later that night we settled down the camp ground, grabbed a few towels and drinks, and headed for the beach. We lay there on the beach and looked up at the sky. It was amazing. It's truly something you have to try.


Day 2 - Day of hiking


Today we were going hiking. Well, we left that morning bound for Partington Cove. The trail is a few minutes north of limekiln State park. The trail slowly headed down hill toward a small bridge and a few other trails.

If you cross the bridge, you will follow a trail that leads you to an old tunnel, bored through a mountain. Its about 100 feet long. Inside, wood braces hold everything together. Walk through the tunnel and you will find what looks like Paradise Island. There are a few coves with wonderful blue water. It's a quiet area.

A hoist stanchion stands tall and strong around jagged rocks. It was used to load Tanbark into waiting ships in the cove. To your right, the ocean softly but powerfully glides around through and around the rocks. Walk around the rocks and you'll find these old rusty eyelets, once used for tying up ships. After you've seen the great beauty and excitement of this area, you have the long hike up. I, as a kid, ran up some of the way. It's all worth it.

After that we headed to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. This park has lots of great scenic trails for the hiking enthusiast. In the main parking lot you'll see a trail to the left, which leads you to McWay Falls. When you start hiking on this trail, you will see a small trail to the left of you.

This trail leads you to the Felton Wheel Exhibit that explains to you about early hydroelectric power on the creek.

Back on the McWay trail, you'll eventually come to a tunnel that goes straight under Hwy 1. As you walking through, a cool ocean breeze surrounds you giving you a feeling of strength for your hike. When you exit the tunnel, you will be given the choice to go right, toward the McWay Falls trail or to the left down another trail. We went right first. Take a short hike down this path and you will eventually see McWay Falls. It looks wonderful. Like something you would see in the Bahamas. Down on the beach, people have written phrases and letters in the sand. We continued down the trail and ended up at a small area with a great view, but turn around and it looks like you've found a lost civilization. Yes, an old building structure sits up on the small hill sits looking out over the cliffs. Surrounded by palm trees.

Really cool!

Next we headed back to the tunnel and then took the left trail. I'm not sure if this trail had a name but it's a neat trail. If you follow this trail it will lead you to many places. Near the end of the trail there was a very small campground with about two sites over looking the ocean, tucked away from Hwy 1, guaranteed to be a quiet and peaceful nights rest. It's mostly a scenic area. Back at the parking lot, you have the choice to go on many other hikes. We decided to head back to camp though.

There is so much more to the Big Sur area that I haven't mentioned. If you like hiking, if you like camping, if you like wonderful scenery, you'll love the Big Sur area.