California Connie's high school age son, JT
provides his journal of the family hike in Big Sur,
Day 1 - Family Leaves for Big
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.