Friday, December 16, 2011

Californias State Parks

There are 278 state parks in California. 70 will be closed in June of next year. Here's a list of them.

There is one on that list that I adore. It's about three hours south of San Francisco, but completely worth it. I needed a break from the world, so I took a Thursday off, and headed down to Limekiln State Park.

Limekiln is named for it's kilns that were used to process lime. They were brought there in the late 1800's and the surrounding redwoods were used for fuel while the worked quarried the stones and baked them into bricks. The trees have grown back, and the Kilns have gone the way nature would take them.

I arrived mid-afternoon. There was one other person there - a cyclist working his way down the coast. The camp host wasn't there, and I could have camped for free, but not wanting to ruin good karma, I paid the fee.

I like campsites with a view.

Anyone who has driven highway one knows words are inadequate. Cliffs, beautiful bridges, ocean, windswept trees, and endless beauty are part of the twists and turns that make up the coast highway. I arrived mid afternoon and spent the evening over a warm fire and watching the world change color.

The next morning I resolved to see the rest of the park, it's less than a mile hike and the last time I was here (about 10 years ago) it was closed off.

So the first thing I did after coffee was argue with the Gull who decided that it was his bus.

Conversation was pretty much like this:
Me: "Bird, I need to drop the top and pack it up"
Bird: "squawk!"
Me: "No seriously, I have to be home mid-afternoon"
Bird: "Squawk!"

So bird just sat there and watched me pack up, and gave me cautious looks while I did everything *but* lower the pop top. He eventually got bored.

I finished packing up and headed over the namesake of the park. About a half mile up from the beach, through trees that look like this:
on a path that looks like this:
are hundred year old kilns that look like this:

And a mere half mile more across some fallen trees and up a precarious path is this 100 foot water fall.

And even though we are by the coast, you still get the benefits of being in a rainforest:
I saw an osprey nest and could see a bunch of sea birds following a school of fish. I didn't see any whales, but I caught a glimpse of some sea otters.

Once I packed up, I said goodbye to my wonderful view
and admired the landscape once more:
As anyone who drives a bus knows, we all look out for each other - other bus drivers that is. We wave to each other and admire each others vehicles.

I counted 12 between Monterey and Limekiln. Mostly vanagons, on syncro, but 3 bay windows.

The park is slated to close in June, I suspect I will go back before it does.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this! We will try to get out and visit those parks that are closing down soon! So sad.


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