Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Greatest Meeting of Land and Water"

We were returning along Highway 1 on California's central coast after visiting Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Three miles south of Carmel we entered Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.

We knew very little--actually, nothing--about Point Lobos, but it bordered the coast and was "on the way" back to the RV Park.

Thinking in a somewhat self-centered manner, we figured that if we had not read anything or found any brochures about the Reserve, then others would also be unaware of the park's existence.

So, we entered the park, expecting to find a mere handful of other visitors.

After exchanging pleasan-tries, the Park Ranger asked, "Have you visited the Reserve before?"

Our answer of "No" was quickly followed by the Ranger's advice: "Then you must be sure to hike the Cypress Grove Trail. It's really beautiful."

And with those words, we drove off in search of the parking lot at the Cypress Grove Trailhead.

The reality of the Reserve's popularity began to sink in as we read the information sheet we were given. One section read: "Visitors may wait in line to enter on a one-vehicle out, one-vehicle in basis regardless of previously scheduled walks or prior entrance that day."

While we drove along the main road, Kate read from the park's map: "The Cypress Grove Trail winds through one of two naturally growing stands of Monterey Cypress trees remaining on Earth."

We began to expect that we would be far from alone in the Reserve.

That expectation was confirmed when we arrived at the parking lot and found it full.

After circling the parking lot twice without finding an open space, we drove on to a parking area near Little Mound Meadow.

We walked along the South Shore Trail between Weston Beach and The Slot.

We spent the better part of the afternoon just taking in the scenes and sounds along Weston Beach. All the photographs in this entry were taken near this location.

We soon understood the basis for landscape artist Francis McComas's description of Point Lobos Reserve as "the greatest meeting of land and water in the world."

Kate took a walk out Sea Lion Point Trail for these last four photos.

We selected photos for today's entry that showed the coastline's beauty and more "calm" state.

It was sunny, about 75 degrees with a slight breeze--ideal conditions for enjoying the waves meeting the rocky shore.

Our enjoyment was multiplied many times over when some of the waves met the shore in explosive meetings.

Tomorrow we will cover these powerful meetings.

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