Happy Fourth!

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Nothing says Independence like a day full of random adventures. Our Fourth of July was spent meandering along the California coast.

We began the day at Refuge in Carmel Valley, a day spa with saunas, steam rooms, and warm-and-cold plunge pools with little waterfalls. There are firepits and hammocks and gorgeous plantings all around. Silence is enforced, and no electronics are permitted. Books and magazines are encouraged, though, so I figured a discreet sketchbook wouldn't be out of place.

180704 Refuge Carmel

As the temperature was in the 60s, we spent most of our time in the warm and hot pools. The cool pool was too cold to stay in for more than a few seconds, and the cold pool was downright icy!

After a delicious lunch at r.g. Burgers, we continued down Rte. 1 toward Big Sur in search of a spot to hang our newly acquired Eno DoubleNest hammock.

We stopped at Garrapata State Park and hiked a little way inland on the Soberanes Canyon Trail.

180704 Soberanes Canyon Trail

It's amazing to see cacti covering the hillsides as you get further from the trailhead. I didn't have my folding stool with me, so I sketched standing up to avoid cactus needles and poison oak.

Apparently the trail soon enters the redwoods and passes some waterfalls on the way to the ridgeline. We'll have to go back another day. Parts of the trail are still officially closed after the devastating floods and mudslides of last spring, but hikers go anyway.

We kept driving south, looking for hammock-worthy trees about 12 to 15 feet apart. About 14 miles from Lucia, we found what we'd been looking for: a stand of trees overlooking the Pacific.

On went the straps, and ... ahhh. What a serene end to the day!

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