Asilomar is a conference center administered now by the State Department of Parks and Recreation; formerly it was a YWCA conference site. Originally acquired with help from Phoebe Apperson Hearst in 1913, the original arts and crafts-style buildings were designed by Julia Morgan, distinguished California architect. The success of the blending of the buildings and landscape is still evident to us as we gather together. The current conference attendees walk about in a reverential manner, their voices low.
We have the choice of hiking again or staying to listen to ?Microscopic Evidence Supporting the Congeneric Status of Schenella simplex?. We choose to hike and are joined by our leader for the day, Heidi Hollmann.
From Asilomar to Bird Rock, we are on either beach or bluff trails. At Spanish Bay we have entered into the Pebble Beach enclave. The evidence for this is everywhere; the large stately homes, the golf courses, the truck driving past signed ?fine wine delivery?. We have our mid morning snack Spyglass, our lunch at Poppy Hill. From our afternoon coffee break we can see the Pebble Beach golf club. Who needs the $200,000 membership fee?
Once off the beach we hike along trails skirting by residential lots and the golf courses. As we begin to leave the Pebble Beach area and enter Carmel it starts to rain. Not hard ? and it?s a warm rain ? but it is rain, our first daytime hiking rain since we began. Then, by the time we have reached the closed mouth of the Carmel River, we are in sun again. Our walk today takes us past the river to Highway One, then along the highway to Point Lobos.
But this is not the end of the day. We return by the Davemobile to Carmel and the offices of the Big Sur Land Trust where Lynn Overtree, project manager for the Palo Corona Ranch, introduces us to the work of the trust in general and their new acquisition, the Palo Corona Ranch, in particular. Her talk is augmented by a slide show of the wildlife on the ranch as well as general scenes there. We then travel down the coast to the Glen Devon Ranch. This is another Big Sur Land Trust property, and the modern ranch house will be our stopping point for the night. (Jon Breyfogle; photos, Linda Hanes, J Nichols)
Left: A leisure moment on the steps of Asilomar's main building; Right; the last glimmer of sunset.