For some reason, we simply had no idea how much we were going to love Point Lobos on our recent trip to Carmel, which made it all the more heartbreaking that we showed up with picnic provisions less than thirty minutes before the park closed for the evening. (It turns out that this nature reserve closes at 7pm, not sunset like other state parks in the area.) However, since it was just us and the seals in Whaler’s Cove that evening, we decided to make the best of it, save our meal, and pour ourselves a glass of the wine we’d opened from the previous night’s picnic. While speed-walking along the cliffs, highlighted by the evening light, plastic cup of wine in hand, we vowed to return the very next morning before hitting the road to San Francisco.
The sky was pretty grey when we arrived after breakfast the next morning, so we were very thankful we’d had the chance to see Point Lobos at dusk the day before, with just a hint of warmth peeking through the clouds, brightening the blue water. Still, even in the grey, misty morning light, Point Lobos is magical. It is rumored that the area served as inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, and having read that before our trip, I couldn’t get this notion out of my head. The hidden coves, twisted cypress trees, and waves pounding the rocky shore seemed like they were taken directly from the pages of the book.
We spent the better part of a week exploring some of California’s most beautiful scenery, but we both agree that Point Lobos was our favorite spot from this trip. Maybe it was the fact that the first evening had this almost forbidden quality, as we mischievously raced through the trails with our cups of wine, trying to see as much as we possibly could before the gates closed? Or perhaps it was because on both occasions, we essentially had the place to ourselves (along with the rabbits & seals)? Either way, visiting Point Lobos with each other was one of those extraordinary travel memories we’ll always hold dear, and always long to revisit again.
Photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.