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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Big Sur - 2011

Jessee and I have been talking about doing a "brothers camping trip" for years...and finally had our first annual trip last weekend! Nicole said it was okay to go as long as I wrote about it in the blog. So here it goes...

I had never camped in Big Sur and just wanted to spend some quality time with my older brother and get away of life's constant headaches. Although one landslide to the north and another landslide to the south made it a little more burdensome to get in, it made it much less populated with other people and much more enjoyable. My cell phone stopped working about 50 miles from our campsite which made me feel both disconnected and liberated simultaneously!

Jessee had arrived about 30 minutes before me and was already getting situated in our campsite next to a small grove of Redwood trees where two creeks converged and masked all sounds of the beach road we just exited on. We were both happy to see each other and wasted no time catching up and heading out to explore. Even though we had both been up since 4:00 am or earlier we were anxious to get into the explorations that awaited. Limekiln State Park is on the southern end of Big Sur and we first attempted to hike over a large cliff after the trail ended like typical brothers egging each other to go further and neither knowing when to say enough. It took a couple near disasters to accept that we were no match for the rugged terrain and head back to camp defeated with a quick stop at the beach to relax a little. We cracked a couple beers and watched a whale spouting about two-hundred yards off shore. She was probably enjoying the perfect weather just like we were. We took a really brief swim just to refresh before heading back to camp. After a great BBQ chicken dinner we got rested for the next day.

We attempted to explore all of Big Sur. We started by hiking a few miles up a huge incline hill for a breathtaking view on the coastline. The trail was more like an old overgrown trail and a couple guys willing to imagine where it went. Over the hill was a lush grove that pictures could not do justice and I know both Jessee and I were blown away as our constant banter stopped for about 30 minutes as we just took everything in!

We grabbed lunch down by the ocean. We walked through an old man-made hole in the cliff and settled next to a cave made by years of the waves pounding it. Beside a seal coming to see what the Ernest brothers were up to, we were once again separated from most of the human world.

The afternoon was still open so it was time for our long hike. We went up to Andrew Molera State Park and got started. After forging a small river about waist high we took the beach route. We made quick work of the first few miles and cut off to Spring trail which ended at a red sand beach... We'd never seen red sand like that before.

We moved on to the forest and overgrown terrain that few travel and we guessed no one had traveled this year yet. Beside some water snakes and garder snakes startling us, we hiked at a moderate pace, just enjoying the company and beauty that nature was letting us look into.

That night we cooked the most amazing t-bone steaks and topped it off with what every camp should have... No not whiskey (which we also had of course).... SMORES!!

I was going to leave out this final part, but it was a memorable part of the trip, plus writing everything down is what allows us to revisit these great memories. I didn't mention that Saturday we noticed Jessee's rear tire going flat and had no choice but to put in fix-a-flat since his lugs needed a lock that was no where to be found. This made our exit interesting as I followed him over the mountain exiting Big Sur. Unfortunately even when we got back into cell service range we couldnt find any open shops within a couple hundred miles, so Jessee was going to cross his fingers and head for Chico (plus we read a review that someone left fix-a-flat in for a month). I was about 30 minutes in the opposite direction when I got a call from Cara saying that Jessee had made it, not a month, but about five miles. He then locked his keys in the car with it running on the side of a deserted road with a blow out!!! We had a couple laughs as I called a tow truck. Jessee broke a piece of fence off and jimmied in the car after about 40 minutes just before the tow arrived. One shop stayed open until 1 pm and we told him to wait for one more car...please.

It was a great trip with a slightly comical ending. I loved Big Sur, getting away from work and reality for a bit, but the best part was making time for me and my brother to reconnect.


  1. they call me "the walking stick man." Nice job Jake. well-written account.

  2. "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

    Henry David Thoreau

  3. The beautiful California coast...great food...lively banter and shared memories...and, always,ONE disaster...this makes a good trip!
    Glad Paul and I taught you "the ropes" and took you on all those grueling hikes...
    Thanks for sharing your Big Sur trip with us!
    Much love, The Bonzes