Happy New Year friends! I can’t think of any way better to kick off the new year than to take a drive from Cambria, my temp home for 3 nights, 2 full days, to hike in Limekiln State Park. ** If you are getting this post via email, I would encourage you to go directly to the blog post online as it reads easier that way!
My youngest son is doing his mandatory US Naval Sea Cadet Recruit Training (youth boot camp) at the base in San Louis Obispo so I flew with him to California of course. He will be experiencing some of the hardest experiences he has ever faced that will be life changing I am sure. In turn, I attended a life changing yoga & hiking retreat at Sagrada Wellness Center in Santa Margarita that I will write a separate post for soon from December 28-January 1st and now get to explore the California coast until Saturday when I get to pick up Sam! Rough life I know!
It hit me during my mediation session, that the view I have this morning from my suite window, represents where my current state of mind is….the view of the ocean is extremely beautiful, the waves traveling as they are led but the fog has set in about halfway back from the shore so it is impossible to see past that fog in this moment. The fog holds the unknown, the unpredictable, the unsure but I do know that there is beauty and life beyond that fog. My view tells me this morning that I must wait and be patient for the fog to lift. I must accept and embrace what I can see and adorn and be grateful for each inch of the sea that I can see as the fog will recede as the winds change…as the hours pass…much like how our thoughts grow and evolve as the hours pass. I will be patient…
I have often raved about my extensive experiences using Air B&B’s, this one here in Cambria being my 23rd since May 2019. As has been my constant experience with Superhosts that have a 5 star rating, the hosts here are absolutely amazing, the suite is beautiful that overlooks the ocean and there are many mediation spots available on their property…a perfect place to slowly acclimate back into the rat race after a special experience at Sagrada.
This morning I woke up to the sound of hungry turkeys and beautiful deer and a beautiful tray of healthy and nutritious breakfast from my Air B&B hostess. Thanks Lori!!! I woke early, had my hot tea, mediated and did my morning yoga before I headed out to do some hiking and exploring. A perfect morning…
Finishing my Numi Vision tea, the sun coming over the hills behind me shining onto the beach in front of me, my spirit well nourished by yummy food and beautiful practices this am, Mother Earth was singing her morning song and so it was time to hit the road and explore Hwy. 1 between Cambria and Limekiln State Park about an hour south of Big Sur. Then after I hike to the waterfalls and explore all that the park has to offer, then I will head back south towards Cambria, stopping at Moonstone Beach.
The drive past San Simeon was really breathtaking and I was choked up more than once due to the utter power and dramatic landscape laid out around me. Absolutely beautiful! Towering mountains waiting to be explored on one side and drastic, organic, unrelenting cliffs and ocean on the other side.
I am always amazed at how free, at peace and just natural when I am in these places. I feel empowered by the wildness, the danger and the excitement that they present…Owl medicine!
After about an hour, I reached Limekiln State Park in Big Sur country. I was excited as the reviews were very impressive as apparently here you could hike the redwoods and then dump onto the beach after your hike! Well, let’s see!
During the entire short 2 mile trail, I was serenaded by the sound of water caressing the pebbles as it flowed and ebbed its way toward the ocean. I was immediately taken back to the JMT and how I couldn’t sleep for a week after being home just because of the silence in the house and not be lulled to sleep by the sound of the water flowing beside my tent nightly.
I love finding wise words from my life long crush every where I go when in California….Love you JM!
I was exuberant in the fact that I got to cross the creek 8 times on my hike along logs like the ones below, where the only thing that mattered in those moments crossing were the logs beneath my feet and my concentration to manipulate my step so that we could dance together…making sure we didn’t step on each other’s toes by placing my feet with perfect weight, at perfect angle and with perfect style so that I could finish the dance and not be wet. A few areas were pretty hairy with the logs really just floating and not anchored in the creek so one misstep and I would have been very uncomfortable for the rest of the hike, but the dance ended beautifully.
I first took the falls trail and after a few more water crossings, I was able to stare in awe at this understated 100 foot waterfall tucked in the small gorge at the end of the trail…I have a deep love of waterfalls, especially ones that are not well known.
As I headed back on the falls trail to join the Kiln Trail, I had to continuously pause and embrace the varying rays that were coming through the redwoods as I walked…there is something truly magical about the Redwoods…like they have stories that they will only tell if you sit down and stay long enough for them to share.
When i reached the kilns, they caught me by surprise as they were HUGE! Built in 1897, they were built to process the limestone that was being excavated, taken down the hill by buggy and then loaded onto ships waiting at the shore. I sat and meditated in this spot as it was eerie because it was like I could hear the voices of the early workers as they contemplated their jobs, the grunts and groans as they had to load the limestone onto the buggies and the snorts of the horses as they began down the trail…it is amazing what you hear when you are mindful of your actions and surroundings. A family came up and literally did the Chevy Chase view of the Grand Canyon as in Vacation and headed down, talking just as loudly leaving as they did coming up about some tv show…too bad. Had they stopped for even a second, maybe they would have discovered that what they were looking at was incredibly more interesting than whatever tv show they were talking about. Again, these woods have stories if you stop long enough to listen…..
Coming down was magical…just look at this view…utter peace…..
After spending a little while in the forest, the state park also offers some campsites on the beach. Now this was really unexpected as I sat watching this power for almost an hour….I wish you could hear the almost deafening groaning of the sea as the wave retracted and pulled the sand back to gain it’s energy for the next wave…the ground shook! It was absolutely incredible! I wish I could put videos on here to show you. 😦
I love the cluster of California sticker collections you can find behind almost every beach sign in existence….Ha!
Whew! How could this day get any better???? Well, that’s what I was wondering but then I headed south to Moonstone Beach!
When you arrive at Moonstone beach, make sure to park at the north end, park and begin walking on the boardwalk so you don’t miss any view along the way. It stretches for about a mile or more and is awesome!
The collection of sea weed, shells, kelp, and sea stones are absolutely astonishing! I loved how the colors were soo vibrant in everything that was laying on the beach, laying just as if waiting for the tide to come in and take it home…each piece of the sea placed where it lay by the power of the earlier tide soon to be moved yet again by the later tide.
The kelp was especially interesting as it was HUGE and when i touched it, it was rock solid even though it was recently placed on the beach by the water….the patterns on it’s skin were a combination of seemingly disorganized chaos lines but they were placed there on purpose and were truly art!
As the sun began it’s journey towards the sea, that meant it was time for me to continue my journey south. I wanted to see this house made of trash from Cambria called the house on Nitt Witt Ridge. This house sits on 2.5 acres and artist/recluse Arthur “Art” Harold Beal (1896-1992) bought his hillside lot in 1928 and spent most of the next 50 years carving out the terraces with only a pick and shovel, creating his own “castle on a hill”. Beal was a garbage collector for the town of Cambria in the 1940s and 1950s and made good use of what Cambrians were throwing away, as well as the natural materials on the property, in the nearby pine forests, and on the area’s beaches.
After Art died in 1992 at the age of 96, his ashes were spread around his favorite redwood tree on Nitt Witt Ridge. The house still is full of knick-knacks and architectural uniqueness, despite the deterioration and ransacking it suffered after Art’s death.
In 1999, Michael and Stacey O’Malley became the owners of Nitt Witt Ridge. They have repaired some of the house and cleaned up the gardens and offer tours of the home.
As the day of adventure ends, it now time to head to my new favorite restaurant in Cambria, the True earth Kitchen and Market for my hot herbal tea, my Vegan salad and sandwich and then head home to rest and meditate before another day of adventure tomorrow. 🙂
What’s next: Tomorrow I will be heading back north all the way to Big Sur to hike at another state park and explore some more of the treasures that California’s Pacific Highway offers.
Thank you for coming on this journey with me to Limekiln State Park and Moonstone Beach. May you sleep well and dream big tonight…remember to live the life you have always dreamed of…don’t wait or it may be too late! Happy exploring!