Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Big Sur to Paso Robles. January 4

January 4
Well, good things do come with a price...I awoke this morning at 5:30, and immediately sensed a change in the weather! Heavy fog and dew, maybe a misty light rain. I did my morning stuff and waited on daylight to show me the day. It was not good! I had the side door to the east, and so my early scouting views were not accurate. As I ventured out and to the west side side of the van, I got the full monty of one of those California style, heavy, permienting drizzles! Puddles had formed on the drivers side of the van, proving that this had been an overnight thing. I knew I did not want to attempt a drive out of here after a storm, and while I had the stores to stick it out, figured if I was going to try to get down, now was the time. The ruts had now turned to puddles,and the mud had a clay base to it, so the drive out was a high adrenaline, white knuckle adventure. I should name this segment, WHY I LOVE MY WESTY!
Never slipped nor hesitated nor feared getting bogged in the mud. Once back on paved road, it was 5 miles to drop the remaining 2800 feet, and once at ocean side, I swear I heard the van go "tsk, you were concerned about that? Please!" They may be slow and quirky, but I will take my van over any trumped up SUV out here anyday.
Now at oceanside, the rain had settled in and the wind was kicking. This put dampeners on my hope to do some whalewatching in Big Sur.I did take time to watch a pair of otters rolling on the seas, which I guessed to be in the 12 to 15' range. I had a hawk glide by at wondow level, along the ridge, and land in the tree behind me. Not long a second one joined it. Even with the weather, I am loving taking in the sea air. I drove a mile north to Lime Kiln SP to see if Stan was at the kiosk, to say hi. Nope. "Where you at Stan?" So, I pointed south to see if the find my way beyond the weather system.
I never did reach beyond the system, but it did stop raining by early afternoon. I stopped to do a cache "Salmon Rivulus" (gcm3y1) which had a waterfall as a backdrop. After the cache, I tried getting back to the falls. This was not an easy task. I backtracked up to the road, and tried the trail on the other side of the creek. There was a makeshift trail down through boulders (the 50' tall variety) and to creekside. There were boulders obscuring a direct view, and as I tried balancing on a rock in the creek for a pic, lost my balance and nearly "ate rock". Wrong shoes for slick rocks, and I had to settle for semi-obscured views. Too bad a sthey were nice falls swollen by todays rain.
I made my ways south to San Simeon, intending to camp here and hike the hills the next day, but the winds behind the front were really ripping, so I did not care to camp on coastal bluffs. Took hwy 46 through the hills to Paso Robles for the night.

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