Sunday, June 12, 2011

Heaven on Earth

Every now and then, you find a place that surely must be a little bit of heaven on earth . . . to me, that place is Big Sur, on the California Coast.  I've been going to Big Sur for 40 years, much more often in the last fifteen or so, as a place to just relax and recharge my batteries.  It was practically the first place my husband and I went, after we met, and we would have been married there, if we hadn't gone to Florida to be with his mother.  There's pretty much nothing to do there besides walk in the woods or go down to the beach or sit on the deck at Nepenthe, a restaurant that has been there since 1949 and that has one of the most spectacular views in the world.

View from Nepenthe [Link to Scenic Sunday]

It was a pretty hazy day, but you get the idea.  We drove way south to Lime Kiln Park (below Lucia), and went for a walk in the redwoods, to some old lime kilns from the 1800's.  The ranger said it was a "stroll through the woods," but the Loved One and I for various reasons found it challenging -- the ranger didn't mention it was uphill all the way there, and for those with knee problems, downhill on the way back is harder.  But we did it, and were treated to a very beautiful time in the forest and an interesting visit to the historical site.

This is one of the kilns -- evidently a company dug out all the lime in the area and purified it in these wood ovens -- deforesting the trees for fuel in the process.  They ran out of lime very quickly and closed the operation down, so now it's returned to its pristine state, 100+ years later (except for the kiln ruins).

We walked along a creek the whole way and the sound of the rushing water was lovely and relaxing.

I took a lot of pictures, but very few of them came out -- photographing in the redwoods is difficult, because you have a lot of darkness, interspersed with extremely high contrast situations where the sun is coming through.  Sometimes that can make for very nice effects, when some bit of something is lit up in the darkness, but often when I think "ooh, that would be a nice pic," it somehow doesn't come out.  But I like these tree roots.

[Linkup to Your Sunday Best]

Another thing I like about Big Sur is that in a number of places, there are wonderful flowers -- we always stop at the River Inn and I take a bunch of pics of the flowers there.  I won't put them all in this post, but here are a couple I like:

[Linkup to The Simple Things]

All in all, it was a lovely day.  Okay, at one point during our hike, I said "I hate you," but then a minute later, I didn't hate him again.  :)  It was fun.


texwisgirl said...

thanks for sharing this beauty. loved that 'sunday best' photo. stunning.

you can keep the sore knees to yourself. :)

EG Wow said...

It DOES look like a lovely spot to hike and take photos.

MarieElizabeth said...

What a gorgeous place, no wonder it's a favorite. Thanks for sharing.

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Some lovely photos, it must have been a pleasant day out. Taking some good photos somehow makes a day even more special.

Barb said...

Sounds like a wonderful day! love the poppies!

Lou Belcher said...

I'm such a fan of wonderful closeup florals. Great job.


lisa said...

This looks like an absolutely wonderful place to be Elise! Your photographs of it are wonderful.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

What a great place to get away! Sorry about the bad knees and the "walk in the park" not being so easy. I would have major problems, as well.

Love all of the photos. Well done, Elise. And thanks so much for linking up to YSB this week! I truly appreciate it.

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks, everyone -- I appreciate it.

Rural Revival said...

This is one place I have always dreamed of visiting. Your pictures are beautiful!


Dora said...

thanks for sharing. I adore your poppy!