Central Coast – The Great Outdoors!

The first two weekends of May presented us with a unique scenario: we had no travel plans, no visitors and no obligations.  After an insane month of April it’s assumed a lazy weekend of lying around the house wouldn’t be frowned upon, but we just couldn’t sit still knowing there was so much untouched territory and only a month left on the Central Coast…so we explored.

Lake Nacimiento

Lake 3

While on our first free Saturday we wanted to get out, keeping it easy was preferred and Lake Nacimiento being about 20 minutes away from our house in Paso was the perfect choice.

Lake 1

I read about Shorline Trail (which has since been renamed 5k Trail) and figured it would be a nice easy day.

While a good portion of the trail leads across main roads and campsites, the shoreline portion was awesome.

Lake 2

It was beautiful, peaceful and exactly what the doctor ordered.

Cerro Alto

After a relaxing day hanging out by the lake, we got antsy and took on a much more ambitious challenge; the most worthy destinations take the most effort.  This is about a 5.5 mile out and back trail that elevates >2,600 feet…time to put in some work.

Cerro 1

The beginning of the climb is a tree covered trail surrounded by beautiful hills and it gives you the impression it will be somewhat easy going.

Cerro 6

Once the tree cover is cleared there’s a well placed bench with the first views of the coast in the distance.  Simply gorgeous.

Cerro 2

It was hard to peel off the bench and keep going.  How does the view get better than that?  Well, it does.  Looks as if Amy can’t believe her eyes.

Cerro 9

Believe it or not it’s there and there is plenty more to go.  At this point we were only about half way up.

When we finally reached the summit, the view was unreal.  We were literally above the clouds overlooking everything from San Simeon to south of Pismo Beach (a HUGE chunk of coastline).

Cerro 5

What an incredible day!

Big Sur Hiking

Having experienced the incredible beauty of Big Sur a few weeks back a camping excursion along a coastal ridge overlooking the Pacific just seemed right!

After a ton of research we decided to head up to Prewitt Ridge for camping and hit a few trails along the way.  Our first stop was to Ragged Point.

BS 4

Climbing down is super steep.

BS 6

But once you get to the beach it’s sooo worth it!  The sand is made of tiny black pebbles and with the tough climb down you likely have the place to yourself.

BS 8

While on the beach we could see whales breaching the surface of the water adding to the surreal beauty of the whole experience.  Then real life hits you in the face when you realize you need to climb back up.

BS 9

So worth it!

Our second stop was the Mill Creek hike on Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd. which was on the way up to Prewitt Ridge.

BS 7

This is about a 3 mile hike through a shaded forest, right off the coast, along Mill Creek.  It was an enjoyable hike, but not well marked, so the trail was either washed out or we took a wrong turn because it abruptly ended.

With the incredible weekend weather we knew that we would be competing for prime camping real estate and decided not to go looking for the correct path and just head up to stake our claim.

Big Sur Camping

We ended up finding THE perfect spot on Coast Ridge right before the turn onto Prewitt Ridge Rd.

Camp 1

When we arrived it was so cloudy we couldn’t even see the coast below us.

Camp 1.2

We were both secretly sad.  We came all this way to camp on the coastline and we couldn’t even see it.  Cry me a river right?

Soon enough the clouds cleared up in time for a magnificent sunset.

Camp 2

Camp 3

Camp 4

We had a great night cooking up burgers, drinking bourbon by the fire and enjoying the stars.  We didn’t realize how much we missed camping.

Waking up to this in the morning was incredible!

Camp 20

With no rush to get up, we snoozed for awhile and enjoyed a solid breakfast before taking the scenic drive on PCH south back to Paso.

Camp 22

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