Thursday, May 21, 2015

At Last

After three nights at our crowded, but entertaining, campground, we left for Big Sur, the town, not the 90-mile coastline. One interesting sight along the way was this cool tunnel. We hypothesized that this must be an especially bad spot for landslides.

We arrived at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park on Sunday, thinking that people would be checking out and sites would be available.  This is the southern end of the Coast Redwood range and the entrance road into the park was a bit of a challenge.

We were told only two sites would be available and neither was large enough for us.  Hum, now what?  Well, never fear.  This park has what they call 'en route' camping.  For the same $35 we would pay for an actual site, we could park overnight in the day use parking lot.  Great!  We're fine with that.  But here's the catch,  You can't park there until 5 pm and must be out by 9 am.  However, for another $10 you can come in and get set up earlier.  So for a measly $45 we got to stay in a parking lot.  Needless to say, we only stayed one night.

But we made the most of our day.  First we went to a nice brunch at one of the cute restaurants in Big Sur.  It had these cool flowers all around.

And the most unique restrooms. First the fancy entrance.

And the ladies room.  The men had one just like it.  I think it's the only outhouse I ever saw with a flush toilet.

I wanted to go to the famous Nepenthe Restaurant where the tables overlook the picturesque coastal cliffs. We arrived just as they opened and were seated immediately.  Seemingly, the fates were with us.  But then we realized that we were were freezing!  Although we had scored a table inside with a lovely view out the window, it was still really cold since they seemed to think it was a good idea to leave the doors open.  So we had to give up on that idea and go elsewhere.  I should have at least taken a picture!

After brunch, we headed for Andrew Molera State Park which had been recommended by the nice lady in the visitors center.  She said the Highlands Trail was her favorite.

We stopped at the Cooper cabin, which was built in 1861 and is the oldest surviving building on the Big Sur coast.

The trail loosely follows the Big Sur River where we enjoyed yellow lupine bushes - maybe not the official name.

True to its name, the Highlands Trail climbed up to some lovely viewpoints.  On the left is the Big Sur River which has to navigate around the small sand dune to reach the ocean.

Funny thing here.  I took the same picture of the bay with my camera and my phone.  After looking at both on the computer, my S4 phone picture was much sharper.  How does it do that with that tiny lens?  I might have to take more pictures with my phone.

Back at our lovely parking lot campsite, we noticed the tree in front of us was named.

The Colonial Tree is a 1100 year old Coast Redwood.  With a circumference of 31 feet, it's the largest in the park, although it was decapitated by lightning strikes.  Hum, I hope we're not expecting any thunderstorms while we're parked here.


  1. Don't you just love being gouged? But sometimes you just bite the bullet and pay the price. Nice neighbor you have ... don't worry about thunderstorms, they are all here in Texas :-(

  2. They have paid for that parking lot several times over with those prices. One night would be my limit also. My day would have been made just seeing that tunnel and the outhouse. Very unique.

  3. We just skipped by that park and now I remember why!

  4. Such a deal on that parking lot. Maybe for another ten bucks you could have stayed past 9 am. :cD

  5. Ouch its getting harder and harder to find a spot to camp without paying a HIGH price and having to wait in line--overcrowding is the problem. Love that beach scene...

  6. I've heard RV parks, even state parks, are expensive along the California coast. But you must have hit the jackpot--for the park. We paid that amount a night in Flagstaff, but we had a great site and full hook-ups. I'm reconsidering checking out the CA coast.