Big Sur & Tilden Park
Last weekend I learned a lesson:
NEVER TAKE A TRIP ON A HOLIDAY WEEKEND WITHOUT RESERVATIONS.
It was Labor Day weekend. Nik and I headed south towards Big Sur with a plan to camp at the first-come-first-serve campsite at Kirk Creek by the ocean that has about thirty camp sites. We left San Francisco on Saturday morning.
If you live in the Bay area, you probably recognize all the flaws to our plan. First, it was Labor Day and everyone and their mother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin and brother want to camp. Second, the camp ground only has 30 sites and if we thought there were only 29 other groups interested in being by the ocean for the long weekend, we were kidding ourselves. And finally, we left on Saturday morning. Yes, the traffic would have been worse on Friday evening, but there was no way that any campsite would still be empty by the time we made it to Big Sur Saturday afternoon.
In the end, we punted. We drove straight through Big Sur and past the over priced San Simeon motels to Lake Nacimiento. It wasn’t the ocean, but it was water and it was cheap. For thirty dollars we pitched our tent just after dark and built a campfire. We ate smores and gazed at the stars while loud families enjoyed their outdoor adventures near by. It was not exactly peaceful, and not exactly what we wanted.
On our way back to San Francisco Sunday morning, we stopped in Cambria to check out the car show. My father will be proud!!
In the end, it was a frustrating trip. But we were together and we learned lessons!!
This weekend we opted for local adventures. Saturday morning we hopped on the Vespa and headed east across the bay to Berkeley. We stopped at the Cheese Board for pizza and then wandered to the hills with no final destination in mind. When we found Tilden Park we were delighted. The 2,000+ acre park has a beautiful winding road that overlooks the expansive nature preserve with turn offs here and there touting lakes, merry-go-rounds, botanic gardens, picnic areas and steam trains. What? Steam trains? Yep, that’s right, steam trains!!!
The Redwood Valley Railway is a small scale locomotive that carries about 75 passengers at a time through the wilderness of the park. Basically, it is like living in a fairy tale!!! The ride costs $3 per person, and lasts about 15 minutes. Nik and I were definitely the only adults there without children in tow, but I think we enjoyed it just as much as the 3-year-olds!!!
Nik made a little video of the ride: