More Coastal Views Our final hike in the coastal part of our trip, we chose the “Wind Cave” hike in Gaviota State Park. Like most hikes near the coast, it goes up, then it goes down. Not an exciting hike, but we thought there might be some nice views.
We reached the caves after a series of steep inclines and were a bit dismayed when a hiker coming down told us to beware the rattler in the first set of caves.
This of course made up hyper aware of it, and of course it was nowhere to be seen, or heard, when we got there. The formations, while not extensive, did offer some interesting compositions, but nothing too exciting. Faria County Beach
We moved a bit further south to Faria County Beach, to set ourselves up to cut over to Highway 395 and the eastern Sierras. The wind and surf were up here, as in most of the state this week. Our campsite butted up against a rock water break, so we had a front row seat for dramatic surf. The high winds made being outside kind of difficult. Salt spray and spume was covering everything outside with a crust that made me sorry I’d parked here, but of course the views were worth it. Alabama Hills A couple of days later, we met up with friends Jim & Gayle of Life’s Little Adventures at the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine. We also got to meet another full-timer, Jeanne, who was staying there. After setting up, Jim and Gayle, Mary and I, headed out on an afternoon hike up a thousand feet or so over 2.5 miles to an abandoned Ashram. It was a breathless but lovely hike up. The building is quite an impressive structure – especially considering the difficulty of navigating the steep trail. Not sure who is using it, or for what, but it did looks as if it is being cared for.
The walk down was just as enjoyable. It was much easier to look around when one’s lungs weren’t bursting. Mary and I took a morning walk out to the arch that is nearby our campground. It is just a short hike from the trailhead and easy walking. The clouds were hanging down over much of the mountain range that usually is used for the background here, so I turned it around and pictured the formations through the arch, then started looking around for a different view. Our campground amongst the rocks (below) Afternoons during our stay here followed a pattern. Clouds increase during the day, creating spectacular combinations of sky, clouds, verga, and mountain terrain. Manzanar
On another day, we drove out to Manzanar, the WWII Japanese Internment camp and memorial. The exhibits and artifacts are a fascinating look back to an especially black period of American history. We wandered the grounds for a good part of the day, spending time at the memorial photographing the origami crane strings that are ever present on the posts around the monument. As has happened every day, as the afternoon progressed, clouds gathered and began shedding moisture. We sat in the car mesmerized, as the scene before us constantly changed. Huge masses of clouds and rain would collect, then dump on the mountains and desert before us. It rarely reached us where we sat. It was quite inspiring and we sat for a long while, jumping out of the car for images, then being driven back inside by wind and icy rain.Back in camp later, we were treated to a rainbow.
Part 3 to continue soon.