Another Kind of Intoxication
Trip Start Jun 22, 2010
27Trip End Dec 15, 2011
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We began the day by waiting in a long line to pick up sandwiches at a local deli. I think the entire peninsula was planning a picnic. Giant subs. Check. Chips. Check. A bottle of Christopher Cameron Red wine. Check. Plastic Cups to hide the wine from the park rangers
Located less than 10 miles from Monterey, this park covers a mini-peninsula that is divided by Cypress Groves on the northern shores and meadows on the southern side. We set off to hike the coastline exploring the headlands and coves that encompass the spectacular park. We began walking through the forest to the northern coastline. The forest gave way to Whaler’s cove whose entrance was bordered by the rocky cliffs of two headlands. We spotted some empty picnic tables and hungrily attacked our sandwiches while simultaneously trying to savor every sip of the delicious wine. Our bellies full, it was time to walk off the meal and really explore the park. We climbed up to the cliff and looked out to Carmel-by-the Sea and Pebble Beach. We continued walking through the Monterey Cypress groves, one of only two places on earth that these trees remain in their native spot. Rock formations dotted the coastline adding to the stunning scenery. The sounds of woodpeckers often punctuated our sentences and Harbor Seals and their pups sunned on the beaches below the cliffs.
As we approached the Southern side, the groves gave way to meadows and the sounds of sea lions grew louder as we turned on to Sea Lion Point Trail
After we climbed back up from Sea Lion Point, Mike gave our guests the option of heading back to the park or continuing along the southern side of the peninsula. I was delighted when the group chose to keep walking. We followed the southern trail walking along the edge of cliffs and winding along numerous coves. We spied several sea arches and more harbor seals and swimming otters. I took in a deep breath of the fresh air as I admired the clear almost turquoise water. It had been awhile since my single glass of wine at lunch yet I found myself feeling completely intoxicated by the sounds of waves crashing and sea lions barking. Or was it the smells of trees, wildflowers and fresh surf? I have to admit that earlier in the week, I was a little angry at my favorite town for not showing its best face to my friends or to my husband and I on our stay-cation. However, as the sun shone on my shoulders and over the ocean, I felt myself falling in love with Monterey all over again.