I never miss a chance to take the short drive south down Highway One to Point Lobos.
I come with friends. I bring relatives. I come alone. I usually bring a sandwich, jacket,and always my camera for this is a magnificent spot.
Let me take you for a quick tour – then you can come back and explore at a more leisurely pace.
I pay a small fee at the gate and get this map
to help guide me and take the first right toward Whaler’s Cove . I park here
and walk back up to the Whalers Cabin.
As unbelievable as it sounds, Chinese fishermen and their families sailed directly from China to Point Lobos in junks, arriving in the early 1850’s. They built a small village on this site which became the first Chinese fishing settlement in California. They occupied the Cove for 30 years and built this cabin in 1851.
The cabin sits in a grove of Monterey Cypress with their huge trunks and contorted limbs.
Today the only sounds are of the surf, birds and wind in the trees.
No sounds of the fishermen who came before
Or the Japanese who harvested abalone from the depths wearing weighted diving suits.
The Portuguese whalers have gone,
leaving only whale bones,
and the pots in which they boiled the whale parts
for the oil with which to light the oil lamps of the time. All gone with the invention of Kerosene lamps.
Gone the diary farmers whose cattle grazed here.
Gone are the miners who dug the granite from the shore line.
It all reminds me of a favorite part of “Carmel Point” a poem by Robinson Jeffers:
“The extraordinary patience of things! ……the people are a tide
That swells and in time will ebb, and all
Their works dissolve.
Meanwhile the image of the pristine beauty
Lives in the very grain of the granite,
Safe as the endless ocean”
I follow the Granite Point Trail.
Now I see dappled sun,
Seal sunning themselves,
Seaside Painted Cup
And Bluff Lettuce.
I retrace my steps past seal “ having a moment”
And start up the rocky path of North Shore Trail
walking around boulders
And over tree roots
Whenever I dare look up there are beautiful vistas
And dramatic rock formations
And below me always the foaming water in a dozen shades of blue and green.
I struggle a bit,
but joggers pass by,
children hop from rock to rock
and parents lift strollers up the stone stairs.
By the time I reach the car, I am ready to take a break. Lets drink some water and rest a bit before our next stop.