Big Sur’s Cone Peak rises out of the ocean about as steeply as any mountain on the planet. It’s summit, at 5,155 feet, lies less than 3 miles, as the condor flies, from the beach. This delivers an average gradient of around 33%; steeper than the rise of Mt. Whitney from the floor of Owens Valley. Making the journey from the beach to the summit on foot takes only a little over 5 miles, thanks to the open slopes of Stone Ridge. And it’s one of the most spectacular walks in Big Sur. Which is saying something.
Well, we’ve fallen a little behind in choosing a wildflower of the week, so we’re going to make up for it by choosing silver lupine (Lupinus albifrons): one of California’s most ubiquitous flowers. Although it leaks across the border a little into Southern Oregon and Northern Baja, this perennial shrub is a true Alta Californian. These are blooming near Soberanes Creek in Garrapata State Park – one of the many State parks scheduled to be “closed” this year. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s no sign, but the Little Sur Trail begins at this easily recognized gate on the Old Coast Rd. Just take the Old Coast Rd. north, a little under 4 miles, from its south end at Andrew Molera State Park. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s a little of what we saw today …
Chinese Houses (Collinsia heterophylla) Read the rest of this entry »
The East Molera Trail begins with a moderate climb through live oak woodlands… Read the rest of this entry »
On January 1, 1980, Jeff Norman, then 29, moved into the Overstrom homestead, Alta Vista, in Big Sur. Overlooking the ocean from a 2,700-foot-high perch on Michael Ridge, and accessible only by trail, Alta Vista was an ideal location for observing and experiencing the beauty and power of the natural world. Jeff lived at Alta Vista until his death, at age 56, on October 31 2007. All structures associated with Alta Vista were burned to the ground eight months later in the Basin Complex Fire. Read the rest of this entry »