From time to time, I’ll take the opportunity to talk about things a little less on the abstract, and just post about my travels and life experiences- local or otherwise.
The first weekend of September, I went down to Point Lobos State Reserve with my girlfriend to see what all the buzz was about.
I wasn’t disappointed.
The Point Lobos trail loop came in at just under 6 miles, with minimal elevation gain. Parking was a little bit hectic; I would recommend anyone looking to check it out to get there before 9 AM.
The very first thing that stood out to me was just how calm the water was. I had initially heard about Point Lobos as a popular scuba location, and my initial impression made me regret that it hasn’t happened yet. It’ll make a great excuse for another trip!
After a quick jaunt up the northern coast, we found ourselves enjoying an entirely different ocean spectacle.
Waves crashing into rocks just so happens to be one of my favorite sounds in the world. I was able to climb down low enough that the bigger waves threatened my dry clothing. Every once in a while a giant wave would create a huge surge that would turn the little cove into a maelstrom of white and teal. Definitely worth the time spent here.
We continued on a few miles before I realized I had missed the turn off for one of the trails I wanted to explore. We backtracked back up the hill to Whaler’s Knoll, so called because in the 19th century it was used as a lookout for whales by the whalers who used to inhabit the point.
We used it as a lunch spot.
And got to spot some whales of our own.
They were pretty far out into the distance, and I was only packing my wide-angle lens, but the spouts from their blowholes were distinct. It was the first time I had ever seen a whale out in the wild, and even from afar, their size is pretty impressive.
After finishing our sandwiches, we headed back down from the knoll and hiked on.
We reached an area appropriately named Cypress Cove that was covered in gnarled trees. It was pretty cool to see the tangled shapes they took on from being tortured by Pacific winds.
As we continued our loop, we found ourselves out toward what is called The Pinnacle. The Pinnacle is noteworthy because it is the most exposed point in the park. It is also home to a vibrant “green algae” that blew our minds.
No real idea what the stuff is, other than it was everywhere. It resembled Cheetos both in color, and in apparent texture. After some research when we got home, I learned that the algae’s orange hue comes from carotene; the same stuff that makes carrots orange.
Really, really weird, but super cool.
We rounded out the trail with a visit to the tide pools, and caught a glimpse of famed China Cove, but, with the ongoing trail closure (to protect the sea lions), we weren’t able to get close enough to get a shot of the famous natural arch there. A little disappointing, but, since the trail down to the beach has been closed since 2015, I knew what to expect going in.
Point Lobos was a worthwhile trip, and I will return with my dive gear in the near future! I wholeheartedly recommend the full loop to anyone looking to explore the park, as the diversity of experiences within the park is difficult to match.
I can’t promise that you’ll see any whales though…