Thursday, September 19, 2013

"A Battleground of Natural Forces"

When it comes to choosing where to spend time or to live along a coast, I believe that respondents fall into one of two groups.
One group will prefer a coastal location with a large expanse of a white sandy beach with calm deep blue water (with, for some, occasional "presentations" of waves made for surfing); a second group will prefer a rugged, rocky coastline with waves crashing against the jagged coastline.

We are members of the second group.

So our discovery of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve just minutes south of Carmel, CA, has given us the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and sounds of this preferred setting.
Matt Jaffe, at, noted that landscape painter "...Frances McComas’, who declared that Point Lobos was 'the greatest meeting of land and water in the world,' couldn’t have come up with a more dramatic composition than the near-perfect juxtaposition of forest, craggy, broken coastline, and crashing waves at Point Lobos. With fogs constantly changing the light and textures, Point Lobos has the pristine aesthetic of a Japanese print.
"As noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. (who surveyed the area before the reserve opened) described Point Lobos, 'Here, as on a mountaintop, one has the sense of being on a battleground of natural forces, where man is a negligible factor.'"
Jaffe also noted that "...the great California poet Robinson Jeffers wrote about Point Lobos, and the area may have also inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
"And the likes of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams came here to try and capture its glories and varied moods. Weston photographed at Point Lobos for 20 years and is so synonymous with Point Lobos that his ashes were scattered on what is now known as Weston Beach."

The park also has beaches hidden among the rocky coastline. On the way to the Bird Island overlook, you pass between woods and sea, high above two white sandy beaches--China Cove (shown below) and Gibson Beach.
Both are accessible via long staircases. China Cove's sparkling jade-green waters are framed by hanging cliffside gardens.
But it was the rugged shoreline that captured our attention.
And even though the waves were fewer in number and height, the meeting of water and rock still generated some excitement.

Point Lobos will call us back for future visits.

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