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April 7, 2012 / Linda Hartong

POINT LOBOS STATE RESERVE

 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,

tools,

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,

Ice plant

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.

5 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Annie Westlake / Apr 8 2012 6:02 am

    I can almost feel the salt air blowing through my hair, and oh yes, you have reminded me that I want to compose a new verse for the Abalone Song. Thanks for making my day (again), and have a peaceful and blessed Easter.

  2. Betty / Apr 8 2012 12:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing this lovely place with us. It felt like I was walking right along with you.
    I love your blog and the sweet homes and gardens which you describe and photograph.

  3. Ruth Malone / Apr 10 2012 8:34 pm

    I have seen pictures and Carmel is on my bucket list! I just love your blog and feel like I am walking with you. Thanks for sharing your beautiful town with me.

  4. Inspired and pretty / Apr 14 2012 4:04 pm

    Beautiful, BREATHTAKING photos ! How I loved this post !

  5. downraspberrylane / Oct 24 2013 12:11 pm

    I love this post, great photos. Just 2 weeks ago we were climbing all those steps and skirting the boulders! I feel like I’m there again!

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