A blessed short day!
Because our local trail leader for the day was unable to hike due to health problems, we walked the road. Our original plan was to hike the Dutra Loop: another series of hiking trails similar to what we did yesterday, about 12 miles. We could see parts of this trail high on the mountain above Salmon Creek Falls, winding its way horizontally across the mountain slope, and most of us were relieved to have a short day instead.
We began a leisurely ½ hour later than usual (in the van at 8:40 AM to drive 20 minutes to the starting point) and in 2 hours were sipping our coffees at the Ragged Point Inn. Along the way, we passed several houses seaward of the highway. Each had a large green lawn; to me an outrage in this water starved country. Coming into the immediate Ragged Point Inn area, our sensibilities were again offended by an immense house under construction, its unfinished walls a gigantic ?Tyvek? (a plastic membrane) billboard. We couldn?t believe that this was one house and not an inn being constructed.
We set up camp at San Simeon State Park and by 2 pm were in Cambria washing clothes, buying treats, checking for mail at the Post Office, and perusing used books. The hope of mail was in vain, since Mel gave up on the General Delivery Post Office list (which had been prepared before we started the walk) way back in Ft. Bragg. He had been told there that individual hikers must come into the post office with I.D. to pick up general delivery mail. He attempted to explain that during post office hours, we were out hiking on our way down the coast, and that mail would be addressed to CTE03, but this didn?t fit with post office rules. Therefore, those of us who had been receiving mail told our friends and relatives not to send anything to us anymore. However, hope dies hard, and since we happened to be near this post office during open hours we stopped by anyway.
Our numbers for the next day have been increased now by section hiker Joan Glassey, from Cambria, and by day hikers Lucy and Bill Kortum and Coastwalk?s Executive Director, Richard Nichols. (Jon Breyfogle; photos by Linda Hanes)
Left: At the county line. Right: Last view of the Big Sur coast.