True to form, I ended 2013 and began 2014 with a couple quick weekend camping trips. The first of which was to Big Sur; since we’ve been having such warm weather here in California it seemed appropriate. T’was the day after Christmas, Todd, Lila and I hit the road with the intention to stay at Kirk Creek but we weren’t the only ones with the post-holiday itch to camp out. We ended up grabbing one of the last spots at Plaskett Creek that had a ginormous tree trunk running through it. It was not in Big Sur proper but a hop across Highway 1 and down a short set of stairs, the difference wasn’t even noticed. There was a gorgeous stretch of beach with hardly anyone around and it was the perfect spot for me to have my morning coffee and meditate on a rock. We had a busy day of tide-pooling, fording a freezing cold creek at Molera Beach and hiking along Creek Trail with the cows mooing in Creamery Meadow. After all that adventure, we finished off the day with a giant burrito, a red wine fueled campfire and glow-in-the-dark frisbee.
The next day after a big breakfast, we headed out early enough so we could hit a few trails on the drive home. Soda Springs ridge line trail paralleled highway 1, under a relentlessly sunny sun with a porpoise-like creature bellowing in the distance. The heavily used Salmon Creek trail began with a giant, rotting deer carcass and ended at a waterfall with a pipe bridge. Another unmarked trail cut across a small field, past an intimidating looking tree and out to the beach with a ton of driftwood that I wanted to steal. I am the worst rock skipper and I did chase away the birds in a feeble attempt to join them in their camaraderie. Highway 1 through Big Sur is a magical drive that has adventure at every turn. There are so many secret trails and no one knows where they go, you just have to put one foot in front of the other and trust that it’s impossible to be disappointed.
For an even shorter camp-out, I drove up to Point Mugu, 50 miles north of Los Angeles off Highway 1. Another packed campground, we had a short but bitter-sweet night that began with a beautiful sunset on the beach adjacent to the campground we SHOULD of been at. Point Mugu is divided into a few sections, one that is east of the highway and the other that is directly on the beach. Over MLK weekend, last-minute style, we were able to score the last spot on the east side of the highway. We experienced a rave, domestic disputes and tazer gun stories of woe from the campers directly next to us as well as roving, drunk minstrels and an adorable baby bunny spirit animal. It was not a quiet night out in the wilderness, by any means. I’ve learned to lower my expectations with car camping and save them for backpacking! However since Adriana is a secret glamper, we went out to a fancy brunch in Topanga, donning our gross camping clothes and followed it with a beautiful hike up Tuna Canyon that ended at a labyrinth! The secret trail opened up to gorgeous views stretching past Malibu to Santa Monica and beyond. Rave on!