Exploring the Big Sur Coast and California Condors

Trip Start Jun 03, 2008
Trip End Jun 25, 2008

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, June 12, 2008

We awoke this morning to birds chirping and temperatures in the low 50's. It was cold in the yurt, but we were all snuggled into our blankets, and i turned on our gas stove to heat the place up a bit. The boys and I were eager to go on a hiking tour that I had arranged with a company that regularly comes to Treebones to take guests on hikes. After a waffle breakfast (you make your own in the lodge) and a check of our baby barn swallows whose parents had made a nest in the lodge's eaves, we met Ross, our guide. It ended up that this was a private tour, so the 4 of us headed off to explore the hiking trails on the coast and in the interior of the Big Sur area. What a day!!! Right off the at, Will looked up and commented that the bird soaring on the air currents above us was awfully big. He then asked if it could be a California condor. Ross looked at it, got his binoculars out, and by gum it was. In fact it was a mated pair that had a nest high in the crags near the coast. he had never seen two together like that. they we majestic riding the air currents above us. Ten minutes later, we looked up and saw two more-also a nesting couple-a little farther away from the original condors. We were so excited, and Ross said he couldn't believe that we had seen 4.

On our coastal hike, we also got to see 2 mother sea otters with their babies laying on their mothers' chests. they were so cute. There are only 3000 sea otters left in California's waters, so to see two moms and their babies was fabulous!! Ross said that it was his best animal spotting day ever!!! We hiked to a passage tat the early gold rush suppliers had dynamited through a mountain so that they could get felled redwoods and limestone to the ocean to be shipped to California. You could still see the remnants of the pulleys that had erected for lowering the goods into row boats to be taken to ships bound for San Francisco. we also got to see a waterfall that falls into the sea. very neat.

We later hiked through redwood forests. they were amazing!! Coastal redwoods grow very tall; they don't have the girth of the ones at Yosemite, but they are gorgeous, and the redwood forests are green and so lush. While the boys and I hiked around a bit, Ross laid out an amazing picnic for use-complete wit wine from Cambria-lovely-and he was such a neat guy-a rock climber, kayaker and biker-he was so interesting to talk to and really knew what he was talking about. After lunch, we hiked to some 19th century lime kilns that were in the forest. They had cut the trees down at that point, but after being left alone for over 100 years-the forest was coming back-showing how hard the redwoods want to grow and thrive. So many had been damaged, but they found some creative and unique ways of continuing to grow. We also found a waterfall where the rock face was covered with moss, but the water had deposited limestone particles on the moss so that it as becoming petrified-pretty cool.

After bidding Ross farewell, we headed back to the yert for some rest and dinner. Dinner there is unique. There are really no restaurants around there, so the chef at Treebones fixes different things for dinner-they post the menu at 4:30 and you ell them what you want and when you want it. Since we were tired from the hike, we decided a hot meal would be great, so we ordered lasagna and steak. We moseyed over to the lodge at 7:30 and we ate (with the owners' beagle looking on) fabulous meal while overlooking the Pacific coast with a warm fire crackling in the fireplace. It was one of the most relaxing evenings I have ever spent. The boys and I agreed that Treebones is one of the most wonderful places that we have ever visited.

Full and happy, we toddle off to our yurt, and snuggle once again to into our nice warm beds to dream about condors, pounding waves and the blue green water frosted with white crests they create as they crash against the black rocks of the coast, and great trees.
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