The next few days in Big Sur were nothing short of magical. We woke up the following morning, our first in Big Sur, and figured the most logical thing to do would be to hit the beach. And, well, who are we to argue logic? The universe led us down the 3/4 or so mile hiking path from the campsite, through a covered canopy of trees that straddles the Big Sur River, all the way down to the quaint cove that makes up Andrew Molera State Beach. We spent several hours here sunning, swimming, playing, fighting off the seagulls that boldly flew off with half our food, and watching the surfers slowly but surely converge at Molera Point as they anticipated the swells from Hurricane Marie, the category 4 that had hit Baja California earlier that day, to come ashore any moment. And boy did they! We watched surfer after surfer catch wave after wave that ranged from 3 feet breaks all the way up to what seemed like at least 8 or 10 feet for the more advanced.
We headed back into camp mid-afternoon, some rested, some napped, some ate. Myself and Stephen, we had USB battery bricks and phones to charge, and some business to handle, so we headed into town (and when I say town, I say this very generously, for ‘town’ consists of a grocery store, a restaurant, and a gas station). We took a seat at an outdoor table at the Big Sur River Inn, had some fresh coffee, and got down to business. We charged up our power bricks, and headed back to Molera, hiked back into camp just in time for a campfire and dinner. And that’s when we got a reality check from this fantasy world.
The rangers came up to us to inform us that as of 3 hours ago, the higher ups have outright banned campfires and even camp stoves until further notice. The reason? Drought. The California drought has gotten so bad and so serious, and the land so brittle and dry, that not only did they had to ban campfires and camp stoves 3 days before the famously busy Labor Day weekend, but they also increased the fine from $500 to $5000 to hammer home that this was no joke. If this state doesn’t get some much needed precipitation relief in the coming months, the ban could very well go through all of next year.
In any case, we figured since it was our last campfire, we’d go out with a bang…”S’MORESSSS!!”
The following day, we decided to head up the coast to Point Lobos State Reserve. In all the years of my coming to Big Sur, I’ve never stepped foot in here, and I was stupid not to. This place was incredible. We walked through a Cypress grove, we went geocaching at the old whaler’s cabin, and we hiked around the point, soaking in views of the famous coast. Perhaps the highlight of this part was the tide pools that dotted the rugged coastline. The closer we got to them, the more magical they became…we saw regular crabs, hermit crabs, a dizzying myriad of shells and sea urchins. It was beautiful.
As we sensed the sun begin to set, we figured it’d be a good time to head back to camp, eat some dinner and perhaps try to catch the sunset on the coast back at our beach, Andrew Molera State Beach. We were able to get back in time to feed the belly, but, the clouds started rolling in, so unfortunately, our sunset that evening was hidden from view. Which was alright. We marinated around the lantern, told some stories, had some scotch, and called it a night…figured since I was planning on leaving the next morning, I should get a good night’s sleep for the long drive back.
And if you want to start from the beginning, click here for Part 1: Morro Bay
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