While growing up in Los Gatos, Point Lobos was my favorite place to go, and I think a piece of my soul will always be there. One of my fond young megalomaniac fantasies was somehow finding a peninsula "like" it, and building a giant mansion in the form of a wall that would cut off all outside access to it.
Unfortunately, no place could ever quite be like it, especially my favorite part, the South Point.
Though there are pretty parts to it, it's not, on the whole, a pretty place. It is, however, an amazingly beautiful one.
I took around 80 pictures, about 70 of which are in my scrapbook. They're inadequate in part because I took them with my Treo - but more because any picture is inadequate. The place is an experience.
The sun almost never shines there, and in fact fog is almost inevitable. The sea is never calm - or even close to it.
Very few places are away from the sound of the surf and the barking of the sea lions. The odors change drastically from location to location, and one always has that fresh, invigorating sensation that fog gives.
The Allan Memorial Grove on South Point is one of the two places in the world that the Monterey Cypress still survives.
The whole point feels like a holy place - just not necessarily one for humans.
We've built tracks, but in the best fey tradition, one had best stay on them. The penalties range from plummeting off a cliff to one hell of a case of poison oak - the stuff is a basic part of the undergrowth.
The animals are protected, and apparently damn well know it. I took a couple of pictures of deer browsing near the path. The pictures were a testament to both the low quality of my camera, and the high quality of their camouflage.
Walking up one road, a bevy of quail and a rabbit crossed the path too quickly for me to catch a picture. Driving down another, a coyote did the same.
Sea Lion point is a different experience. After the calm of walking through the pungent brush on Sand Hill
one comes to twisted formations of an odd conglomerate of river rock and sandstone.
The material feels oddly, well, intentional, as if the foundations of R'Lyeh, broken by time, had been raised to the surface.
Parts of Sea Lion point that used to be open to visitors aren't any more - most likely because of idiots being washed off the rocks. Various places that seem perfectly safe can have giant waves burst through the rocks at irregular intervals.
And that covers just about half of a two-hour visit. There's also the peace of China Cove
the odd (and fragrant) massing of cormorants on Bird Island
and simply sudden spots of quiet beauty
I'll be needing to go back again before too long, hopefully earlier in the day next time.