Monday, July 22, 2013

Big Sur Adventure Part 3

The third and final chapter begins!

When we woke up to begin day 3 of our adventure We had plans to make quite a few stops on our way back to LA so we wanted to get started pretty early. We fired up the coleman stove and got cooking! I had a yummy gluten-free bagel with jam while everyone else ate some pancakes cooked on the camp stove.  (next time I'll remember GF pancake mix!) And of course, there was camp coffee! I think camp coffee should be the new summer brew at Starbucks!

While we were eating breakfast and casually cleaning up and packing, Aaron spotted a bobcat! He was  up a hill and not very close so we were not expecting much.

We all took a look but then went back to packing. Suddenly, Kim, our camping buddy spotted the bobcat about 60 yards away from us! It was just sitting there. I got this crapy photo of him. (or her)
There he was just sitting there posing, not moving at all. We had no idea what he was doing. Then, he took off towards us, directly between our camp and our neighbor's camp. This is them all of a sudden realizing there was a bobcat running towards them. You can kinda see his silhouette behind the bush.

Lucky for them it did not get them, he went right around them and if you look just past this bush there he is about to snag a clueless lil squirrel (we called him Squirrel Steve). 

That was it! He snagged the squirrel and jumped into the brush on the other side of the camp site. 

No more Steve :( But we had never been so close to real life national geographic attack!  It was pretty cool! I wish I had better pictures, but that sucker ran fast! 

After the excitement, we went back to packing, I think this is my least favorite part of camping. It is fun and exciting when you are getting your temporary home all set up, when you have to squeeze everything back in bags, that is not as fun!

As soon as we were all packed up, we headed up the coast a bit more for a nice hiking spot.

This is what we found!

It was absolutely beautiful! Everywhere I looked I was more and more impressed! 

We hiked down towards the water  and then back up to the top. The wind was blowing like crazy and I almost fell over a few times, but it was pretty great!
It is crazy beautiful! Seriously, go to Big Sur.

Here we are, notice how I am about to fall, yeah it was windy! 

Next stop was Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park!

This beautiful place is the home of the McWay Waterfall!

That is  a real, unedited photo! It doesn't even do it justice! 

 While waiting in like to use the bathroom I found out that the majority of emergency rescues that occur in Big Sur happen here! Probably because the trails to get to the falls are ridiculously narrow and scary looking! Plus there are special underwater areas that only want trained scuba divers to explore! Sounds awesome, but super scary too! Needless to say, we stuck to the safe tails! 

The good safe tails brought us to this view!

Oh My God! Seriously!?!? You can argue with me all you want but I will insist that California is the most beautiful state in the US!

Where we were standing was the terrace of what remains of the "Waterfall House" where Helen Hooper Brown lived in the 1920's. Mrs. Brown acquired the land with Julia Burns who also acquired about 10 million dollars when she was orphaned at 15. (That is 1920's 10 million BTW.) Anyway, the house used to be part of tours and you could ride cable cars up to the home, but for some reason they did not keep the house going and tore it down. Super sad! But, if you do check it out, there is a lot of fascinating history to read about! 

Ok, one more before we say good-bye to the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park!

After our hike and checking out the waterfall we were STARVING! 

We stopped into Nepenthe. The place was jam packed with people and it was about 120 degrees outside! It was totally worth it though. This place has been open for over 60 years and has quite the reputation. 

It also has a bar!

The place has a pretty impressive history from when and how it was built, movies filmed here, a hippy hang-out, to being Henry Millers muse. It is super cute and the food was pretty tasty too! Also, the water was cold which was excellent!

The view's there aren't too bad either!

 On the way home we stopped at the Elephant Seal beach. That is exactly what it is, a big open beach where massive elephant seals create colonies and sun themselves. They are big, blubbery and smelly! Its pretty funny to check out. I recommend stopping in if you are driving by! It is free to park and even if you spend 5 minutes it is pretty cool to see!

Ok only two stops left before we are home! Both stops involve food!

 First, we needed coffee so we stopped by the Town of Cambria. This is the cutest little town, and I really, really want to stay here for a weekend getaway or maybe while checking out Hurst Castle. By the way, speaking of Hurst Castle totally got to see a bunch of the zebras they let loose when the zoo closed down! 

Look how adorable this town is!

We stopped in the Village Bean for some delicious lattes!

They had lots of coffees and ice-creams as well as lil pastries and snacks (event some gluten free snacks that looked pretty tasty!) 

I got just what I needed, a tasty almond milk latte. I love when small town coffee shops know whats up!

Our final stop of the night was at Big Sky Cafe in San Luis Obispo (which is like the absolutely adorable sister of Santa Barbara that does not get enough attention!)

This place was AMAZING! Everything was delicious and I want to go back to San Luis Obispo just to try more of the menu! 

I got the soft tacos and they were pretty darn great!

After more driving, we finally made it home and flopped into bed completely exhausted. I think I was tired for the next 3 days after all the excitement. That just means I didn't have enough time to explore.

So there you have it! I am now in love with Big Sur and I can not wait to go back! Let me know what you think and if you have a suggestion of a place to camp I would love to hear it! 

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