Photos from Los Padres/Big Sur

Here are the missing photos from my previous post about our week near Big Sur.

The land between the highway and the ocean at our Plaskett Creek campground is owned by the National Forest Service, and they lease it to cattle farmers.

So it’s divided by barbed-wired fencing for occasional cattle, but when walking paths along the cliffs hit a fence, they follow along side it to the road, where the Forest Service has installed wooden steps so you can carry on walking and not mess with the bardbed wire. We walked for miles along the coast and through fields this way, through deep vales where creeks flow into the ocean, with mountains to the west and the roaring ocean beside us. Add cows, and you have the best daily walk I’ve had since we hit the road.

Here are a few stereotypes I can conjure from observing folks at our campground.

Folks here change clothes outside their tents instead of inside (modesty is so 1950s).

Athleticism from ocean sports is rampant. Half the people walking to the beach have surfboards under their arms (and waxing surfboards really is a thing).

A couple of young guys scurried to the cliff to climb down, both carrying scuba gear.

One dude surf-fished in his kayak in surf so rough I got queasy looking at it.

If they’re not participating in ocean sports, they’re playing vigorous frisbee in the middle of the campground or on the beach in high winds.

If the high winds and steep climbs down to the beach are an impediment, they still walk around in bathing suits despite it being 55 degrees outside.

Just as I’m thinking I’ve found a relaxing way to enjoy the windy coast by sitting in my beach chair on top of a cliff between bushes, some young man (ubiquitously blond and cheerful) appears, head showing first at my feet then climbing quickly up the cliff to stand beside me, before I can even ask if I’m in his way. Apparently there’s a chain below me to help people navigate the cliff.

After the next guy shows up the same way, I decide I’m making myself look old sitting there in my coat, so I do the smart thing and move to another cliff.

What an incredible place.

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