Los Padres Nat. Forest at Plaskett Creek

Here’s a text-only post because I don’t have enough data to upload photos. Photos coming soon! I’ve also thrown it together from unedited notes, so my apologies there, too.

This week we’re in a national forest campground just a tad south of Big Sur. So far as I can tell, this means giant everything: giant coastal cliffs, giant pine and spruce trees (I don’t know if they’re of the Monterey variety) and giant winds that blow along the coast.

There are tons of small campgrounds off Highway 1 in this area, but this one has room for our rig (barely) and is directly across the highway from the ocean.

The bummer is that we have an entirely shaded campsite, which means we need to be careful with electric use for the first time since we had the solar panels and lithium batteries installed last fall in Naples. The new batteries hold a ton of wattage though, and Tracy has been placing the external solar panel in slivers of sunlight around the campsite, so we’ve been holding steady with enough power not to run the generator. They’re allowed in this campground, but it’s so danged peaceful that we hate to do it.

As with our previous two campgrounds, walk inland and you hit mountains right away, which affords amazing views of the coast at dawn and sunset.

Cross the highway (it’s narrow here), and walk just a minute north, and you hit a state park with stairs down to the beach.

There are also fields of blowing grasses between the highway and the cliff tops, with paths winding among poison oak and raspberry bushes. Tracy and I have both walked one of those paths a couple of miles north along the cliff edge, and another day I found an outcropping where I was sheltered from the wind by some bushes, and I set myself down on a beach chair and read my book and snoozed to the sound of the ocean.

This isn’t the vacation campground where families take spring break to go to the beach, and it’s not where locals head for the weekend. We’re back among explorers: people with licence plates from across the country who stay just one or two nights on their way to the next leg of their adventure. Backpackers, and, amazingly, touring bicyclists who stop on their route along the Pacific Coast Highway. The beauty of cycling along the coast must be worth the dangers.

This means our campground is oh so quiet. I feel like we’re back in the everglades: people come and go, leaving early for hiking then hitting their tents or truck campers as soon as they return, and they pull out early the next day. People are here for a purpose, and it’s not to stay in this campground. Us neither.

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