Big Sur – Ventana Wilderness Los Padres National Forest

Carmel coast

2010-04-10 Partly Sunny, highs in the 50’s
2010-04-11 Partly Sunny, highs in the 50’s

A friends husbands was kind enough to let my daughter and I spend a few days at his guest house up in Big Sur. It was truly amazing! It was a scary drive up the mountain, so before we did the climb we bought all our groceries and had lunch. The River Inn was very close to where our climb up would begin, and they have awesome burgers.

The River Inn
46840 Highway One
Big Sur, California 93920

The place we went to was very private. We had to pass through 3 locked gates at different stages along a very skinny dirt road that was barely big enough for one SUV to fit on.

This is actually a good part of the road, if you can call it that. This was a one way road, and if you met someone coming the other way the person coming down had to put it in reverse. I’m taking hairpin turns with straight drop offs in places.

This was not a place to come and head into town on a whim. No, you better have planned well for your stay.

My friend has Jack’s brother, so I was also able to bring the Jack-a-lope.

This place sits on top of the world, with killer views any direction you turn.

If you look to the East you have majestic mountains.

And to the West breath taking views of the ocean. Yes the ocean is there, but this camera isn’t very good at shooting into the sun.

We got here late in the afternoon on the first day. We poked around a bit, and this was the first time I ever tested Jack off lead in a HIGH environment. Lets remember some of the drop offs you can go down, but it you don’t have ropes you aren’t coming back up the same way.

Jack-a-lope

My daughter was still recovering from a long illness, so I didn’t want to push it the first day. Plus Jack here was also nursing a hurt back paw.

Sunset from Big Sur

I’m making dinner and this glow catches my eye. OH MY FREAKING WORD! I stopped everything, woke up my daughter, and we just watched the sun go down.

The sun setting brings on such a magical light that my camera just cannot capture.

Next morning I got to watch the sun break over the mountains.

Morning over the ocean

The beauty that surrounds this place can put you into a drunken bliss.

Which wasn’t good for me and my crazy man Jack here.

Jack, about to learn that he can't fly

Here I am walking with my first cup of coffee, and Jack. Normally I like a full 2 cups in me before doing things with Jack. It was about this point (not far from the guess house thank GOD!) that a large bird of prey came swooping over our shoulders and down the cliff face.

Very cool and impressive until Jack, who likes to copy everything he sees, decides that would be great fun to soar down the cliff face too. One second he was there, the next freak boy jumped.



RAN
back to my SUV, where I found two hurt birds (what else can go wrong) by the door. Had to deal with them later. Jumped into SUV drove to where Jack had jumped off and tied off a rope to the SUV and went to go save his ass!

You see soon after he leaped from the cliff he soon realized he wasn’t going to sprout wings as he started to tumble rather out of controllably down the side of the mountian. He came to a stop at a small rock out cropping, and at least he listened to me as I threatened his life and told him to STAY OR ELSE.

The “or else” would most likely me be calling the Marines to come save my insane dog.

After saving Jack we went back to have a LOT more coffee before beginning the day.

Spring time in Big Sur is a must.

We had great fun poking around the house while my daughter had a bit of energy.

Most of the flowers were small in actual size, but they were large in numbers.

Which made it look like blank of color in places, from very small flowers.

Two years before this place was swept with wild fires.

Ventana Wilderness Los Padres National Forest

This guess house was in the perfect location. The trail to Ventana Wilderness Los Padres National Forest was right behind the house.

We only saw one person the whole time we were up here, and that person was the care taker.

The views along that small dirt path they call a road were outstanding.

And the meadows had so many flowers and bugs.

Blue Dick

The Blue Dicks were in bloom.

Got Pollen?

This time of year if you are in the sun you are warm, but if you are in the shade it can be very cool.

And by the afternoon the ocean blends right into the sky again.

The burnt tree trunks remind us of the devastating fire that happened here. It’s grand how life bounces back.

Looking back towards the guest house.

The end of the day draws near.

And we will never forget this magical place.

Even Jack could understand the beauty he was taking in.

What a great day.

Here comes the sunset.

Only this time I was prepared.

I wasn’t even going to start dinner until this was over.

When we left the next morning the entire mountain was shrouded in thick clouds. It wasn’t raining, but just walking out to the car you became completely soaked.

I sure hope we are able to go back one day. If you get a chance, go!

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