Big Sur Part 1

Ally and I took a week to backpack and explore Big Sur, California for our 1 year anniversary. I started organizing and packing early then per usual I needed some of the gear for something else, then had a sudden mutisport day and threw gear everywhere, which lead to a frantic stuffing of everything I need for Big Sur into bags at the last minute.

We stayed in Wexford the night before the flight and hired a Supper Shuttle to the Pittsburgh airport. This is less stressful than a 2 ish hour drive at a ridiculous hour to the airport, followed by the long haul from extended parking (I am frugal in most instances, Ally not so much) since we moved to Garrett County, MD. I used to use Super Shuttle all the time when we were in Pittsburgh. It cost more than parking if your trip was less than 2 weeks, but worth it for the convince. The downside is you arrive at the airport at the suggested time, leaving a lot of time to kill. We stopped to have drinks since we had a lot of time to waste we also ordered breakfast sandwiches with our Bloody Mary’s. After receiving the bill I decided it was better to order drinks and food on the plane from now on. I am sure you have noticed that everything costs more now. I have really cut down the amount I go out to eat. The main reason being I go out for convenience, but now it seems everyone is understaffed so I wait for my seat, I wait for my drink, I wait for my food, then I wait for my bill. Good thing we were trying to kill time. This waiting kind of takes the convince out of eating out for me. Eating out has become like an event with hours of my time tied up in it. I could have cooked, ate and cleaned at home in the time it takes to eat out now. Anyone else feel this way? After receiving my bill and adding the 20% min tip I decided it was a bargain at a per hour unit cost, but ridiculous for two Bloodies the size of one and two tiny breakfast sandwiches. Rant over back to eating on the plane. As I mentioned above, I am frugal. Since I have a branded card I get 20% off food and drinks on the plane and there is not a tip option, so right from the get go I am saving 40%! I have to remember this epiphany.

After enjoying our comparatively cheap drinks and food on the plane we land and go to get our rental car. This is where Ally and I diverge on frugality. She upgraded to an Audi A3 because it was the same price with my credit card as a standard rental. I wanted to spend a little more per day and upgrade to an SUV. We will see which one was the cheaper choice later.

My first impressions of the car was- I am not happy. I was too tall for the car so after grumbling Ally said she would drive. Good thing the car had a sun roof, my head hit the top if I didn’t put it into super recliner mode. Ally burnt rubber, tires screeching at the first light leaving the rental as we speed across the intersection headed to get supplies at REI. I was thinking , “hmm I want to drive now” as I try to charge my phone. Seeing no USB imputs I lay my phone multiple places seeing if it will charge. By the time we get to REI we realize we need USB – C inputs to keep our phones alive. I giggle thinking I left a cigarette converter at home because surely new vehicles didn’t have that input as I discover one trying to figure out how to turn on the cars WI-FI.
As we gathered our supplies, mainly food from REI, striking out on both the lighters and lightning chargers, I joke about needing a tent because I probably messed up in my rush packing. Checking out we head to Target where we found the phone chargers in short order, but it took us a full on mission to find a lighter (well 3 lighters), we finally found what had to be the only lighters in the store a 3 pack near the vacuum cleaners.

Driving now in super recliner mode my arm fell somewhere, not quite out the back window, but definitely not in the front window. I have to admit driving down route 1 from San Jose to Big Sur was a blast. Leaving the city, we passed though farm land on the way to costal redwoods. Speeding around the turns catching glimpses of the ocean from high on the cliffs as we approach our destination, the smell of salt air wafting in through the open windows.

Stopping to hike down to the ocean briefly, on our way to eat at the Big Sur tap house, we watch the waves crash again the jagged rocky shoreline sending water exploding into the air before hiking back up, through bright pick flowers exploding sporadically amongst the carpet of green in the tiny area lining the boardwalk. This flower is Carpobrotus chilensis a species of succulent commonly know as the sea fig. Finally we arrived at our destination Wayland campground. This is a part of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. This has 1,346 acres of redwood, oak, chaparral, and meadow areas. Hikers can enjoy 8 miles of hiking trails within the park and over 200 miles of trails in the Ventana Wilderness (USFS) which borders the park which we explored while backpacking to a hot springs.

I go about setting up the tent, and immediately regret joking earlier about grabbing the wrong tent. As luck would have it I stuffed the one man tent in my pack as I was rushing to pack for the trip. I told Ally “I grabbed this one so we could cuddle for our anniversary” she immediately knew I was full of shit.

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