Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Exploring Pt. Lobos

Pt Lobos - a small but enchanting spot on the central Californian coast

Pt. Lobos is yet another must-see spot if you are visiting Pacific Grove (or the greater Monterey Peninsula, for that fact). It is a small but stunning California State Park lined with trails that offers breathtaking views along the rocky shore.

Jubilant children loving the sun and the sand

Nieve and Ronan appreciate beautiful vistas but prefer having hands-on fun. The four of us did a short hike to the protected China Cove where we relaxed in soft, white sand. The low tide let us explore small caves carved on the wall of the cove.

Ronan and his "Superhero Hideout"

Ronan was the first to spot the mouth of a cave and he braved the cold water to access the opening. He declared the cave his, "Superhero Hideout" and loved running around the small space, squealing with fright and delight as the water surged in and out of the entrance.

Correction - the rest of the family and the "Mermaid Cave"

Nieve watched Ronan disappear around the bend and promptly demanded Mom to carry her to the mysterious opening. She loved the small inlet but she determined it was an, "Underwater Mermaid Cave", not a "Superhero Hideout". Ronan agreed that this was a more logical/accurate name and thus it became known as the Mermaid Cave.

Ronan takes flight

There is only so much fun to be had in a small cave, so after a few minutes playing, climbing and splashing the kids wanted to head back to the warmth of the sun. The thrill of discovery prompted Ronan to want to explore new and even more inaccessible spots. He decided to climb over some tall, jagged rocks to another much smaller and rockier part of the cove.

A proud Ronan doing a 'Captain Morgan' on the rocks he just climbed over

Given the scramble over the cliff was not easy and a fall would have been serious, I closely followed Ronan to his new destination. I gained a new appreciation for his bravery, balance, and thoughtfulness as he quickly but safely navigated a passage (all in bare feet, no less) with me in tow.

A good spot to look for some sea stars and anemones

After a snack the kids wanted to explore tidepools, so we headed up the coast to where exposed rocks promised to house tidal flora and fauna.

Nieve taking a break from all of the exhausting searching

Both Ronan and Nieve like the challenge of walking on slippery rocks and finding hidden sea creatures, though Nieve is a bit less eager to hold that which she finds. Nieve did spot a few sea stars that she was willing to reach for but she remained uninterested in touching the grippy anemones.

Ronan and Mom ankle deep, exploring the tide pools

Ronan spent a few minutes exploring the tide pools but soon moved on to larger an more challenging feats, repeating his efforts at China Cove as he scaled large rocks that jutted out into the Pacific. Again I was tasked to follow and this time it was even more difficult to keep up as Ronan's bare feet seemed unaffected by the sharp, jagged rocks he was scrambling over. In the future I will have to wear snug, hard-soled shoes just to keep pace with him.

Ronan scrambled far out on jagged rocks, simply to prove to Mom and I that he could

After several hours of hiking we decided to call it a day. The next time we are in the area we will be certain to make time for Pt. Lobos - there are miles of trails we have yet to explore.

Lots of fun with the kids at Pt. Lobos

1 comment:

Holly Teetzel said...

Ronan must be part mountain goat - his ability to scramble barefoot over those rocks is quite impressive. Looks like he was loving it, too. Neat place to visit - great photos, too :-)