Friday, October 7, 2011

A Long Walk on a Short Trail -- 1

When we left Napa, we headed for a campground near San Juan Bautista. We chose this location because of its central location among the towns of Gilroy and Monterey and Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.

Just writing this sentence brings a smile to my face. Point Lobos. Probably one of the most beautiful settings in the country.

Deriving its name from the offshore rocks at Punta de los Lobos Marinos, Point of the Sea Wolves, where the sound of the sea lions carries inland, the reserve has often been called "the crown jewel of the State Park System."

While it may be that nearly every aspect of its resources--rare plant communi-
ties, endangered archeologi-
cal sites, unique geological formations, and incredibly rich flora and fauna of both land and sea--is of scientific interest, it was difficult to put on the hat of the scientist as we walked along the oceanside trails.

The beret of the artist seemed a more appropriate "hat" to wear as we viewed the colors of the water, trees, and rock and listened to the sounds of the waves crashing ashore.

As we walked along Cypress Grove Trail watching the waves roll in, we found it very difficult to "pause." If we paused along the trail, it was for a significant period of time--it was a "stop." As we watched, we became more skilled at anticipating the timing of the larger waves.

Many times we turned to continue our walk only to hear the particular sound that announced the approach of a large wave.

The sound prompted our positioning the cameras to capture scenes of waves exploding on the rocks.

About mid-morning, fog began to move inland. It was heavy enough that we had to cover the cameras to prevent moisture from covering the lens and movable parts.

Within 15-20 minutes, however, the fog had disap-

From the park's information brochure:
"After the arrival of Europeans in 1769, Point Lobos became at various times a pasture for livestock, the site of a whaling station and an abalone cannery, and a shipping point for coal mined nearby. A portion was even subdivided into residential lots.

"By 1898, A.M. Allan bought a parcel that included portions of Point Lobos and began buying back the residential lots. With funds from other groups and the gift of the Cypress Grove as a memorial dedicated to Allan and his wife, Point Lobos became part of the state park system in 1933.

As high noon approached, we moved further into the cypress grove and

among some of the moss-covered trees.

"Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is outstanding for sightseeing, photogra-
phy, painting...."

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