A weekend available to de-stress in the hills, I was on my hiking clothes on the way out of work Friday, picked up a Subway BMT on flatbread and parked where CA Highway 1 is closed at Ragged Point Inn. I've spent several weekends there in the last year. But because it's close and I can't get over the view.
Residents of Monterey historically referred to the Big Sur area as the "south coast," although it's now nearly half the population of the state. When there I always feel the tragedy and romance of Robinson Jeffers and think of this cool old song:
The hills were decked in summer gold and the temperature climbed as I made my way inland and luckily there was cooling winds. After two and a half hours I was at Dutra Camp and shirts and neck soaked with sweat. My only company was my ukulele and flies that were really interested in my ears and this place was quiet. A great evening that lasted a long time was followed by one of the best star shows I had ever seen - no artificial light near this place.
The next day started early as the sound of mosquitos woke me, and I was backed on the trail before 7:00. I planned a 13 mile hike with scenic views and a nasty bushwhack. The first part went quickly and I had an brunch at Lion Den Camp - a shady spot with views and water. Biting flies kept me from staying long, and I headed up Silver Peak. The trail follows an used road that gets fainter every year. One section of it is a hands & knees tunnel that's tough with a backpack. The road down the west side gets worse and leads to a little-used route that takes you to the meadows above the Buckeye Trail and campsite. I'd researched this and had a map. The final tunnel through the brush got so snug I had to take my pack off. Reaching the meadow, I found a shady spot to celebrate it with gatorade. But my gatorade bottle and all but one of my hard candies had been lost in the struggle against the brush.
Buckeye Camp was beautiful with its cool breeze. I adjusted the hose in the spring to enhance the flow. The annoying flies bit with vengeance and I couldn't relax. It wasn't yet 2:00 in the afternoon and I thought about sitting on the picnic table in my underwear playing ukulele at Dutra Camp during the previous evening. I decided hiking another 9 miles which was better than staying there fighting flies.
There's always a crowd at the Salmon Creek Falls. Even with the highway closed there was a family that parked and swimming in the creek. A couple of guys on motor cycles and a pickup also stopped by before I hiked out of these sights. Spruce Creek Trail up to Dutra Flat is longer than its mileage indications, with lots of blow down sites and one sketchy washed-out place.
I had one of the best bandana baths ever during the Dutra Flat trough. It was a long, tired and sweaty day. The local mosquitoes figured out that this guy was camped there again, and I had dinner and ukulele wearing long sleeves shirts, pants, and a head mesh net. I put up the camping tent to escape them and slept off a long day.
The next morning I was on a quick hike on the Murry Mine Track, which I cleared earlier this year, then hiked down the old County Line Road to the closed highway. Made it home in time for a brunch of my wife's cinnamon rolls with my wife.
2 p 4 seasons tent.