APRIL 26, 2017 – Point Lobos (Monterey County)

When I vacation in Monterey I try to expand my knowledge of the area by taking day trips farther afield. This time, only a mile beyond my previous southernmost excursion I reached Point Lobos. The geocaching map showed multiple earth caches and multis in the State Reserve. Page comments indicated that no physical caches are allowed. The multis had numerous (too many for me) stops to gather clues for cache containers hidden outside the reserve.

I don’t like to spend outdoor time, especially on vacations, compiling clues/data for earth caches and multi caches. It was especially true for this visit because I wanted to enjoy the great scenery and easy hike I’d seen featured online. The “lot full” sign at the entrance was ominous. And the 2 cars ahead of me turned around and exited. I expected to be turned away. But the entry booth ranger said there were still open spaces and waved me through on my California Explorer entry/parking pass. Apparently the turned around cars didn’t want to pay the $10. fee.

A short drive through a gloomy forest led to a series of small beachside parking lots. I stepped out at the third one and walked to the waterline just as it started to sprinkle. The view wasn’t especially good.

What I noticed the most was what was underfoot. It was either heaven or hell for a new rock tumbler like me. There were more great rocks than I could possible tumble in multiple lifetimes but they were strictly illegal to take according to multiple posted signs. I ended up with a handful of crappy ones from the Cannery Row tourist beach 18 miles away.

After poking around the rocks I joined the tourist muggle stream walking north on a well marked trail. The sprinkles stopped and the view improved.

Here are the muggles ahead of me. The ones near me looked oddly at my twin hiking poles. I’m sure they became envious when I walked steadily uphill over broken ground and uneven wooden steps while they struggled.

The views improved even more with increasing altitude and sunlight. Somewhere below a lone sea lion barked.

An abrupt end to the trail made me turn inland to find another one.

There, poison oak and its folk remedy mugwort grew abundantly together. I saw only 1 small warning sign. I feel sorry for people who don’t see the sign or don’t read English and unwittingly brush the PO.

Side trails each led to a viewpoint. I knew that every stop contained clues for the multi caches and/or earthcaches but instead of looking for them I enjoyed the scenery. Except for a rude (Russian?) speaking family picnicking against the posted rules and hogging this site, everyone else politely took their pictures and moved aside.

Just when I thought that there couldn’t possibly be better views, there were. Oddly, most of the muggles had turned back apparently unwilling to hike around the mud puddles from rains earlier in the week. Wimps!!

They missed this too! Now, nearly alone, I wished that I’d printed a list of the multi-cache clues to find. Oh well.

I enjoyed a final shoreline view of gnarled tree cover before the trail looped inland back toward the parking lot.

Next time I’m going back to see what I missed behind the temporary closure sign and to explore the inland parts of the reserve. Maybe I’ll even attempt the earth caches and multis.

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