Camping and Hiking: Big Sur at Vantana Wilderness

Camping near Big Sur in the Vantana wilderness. On the Pine Ridge trail to Sykes Hot Springs.

3 days , 2nights July 2 -July4.  

What I learned Being able to adapt and find creative solutions without the need of a stove.  

I left the house 8 am but needed breakfast. Good ole Dennys.  I had the high caloric octane breakfast.  

-Fast Forward to 10am I am finally on the way to Big Sur. At the start of the day, I was uninspired and had second thoughts about going. Perhaps it’s a combination of money, driving, and going solo. Although I love going solo, nothing compares to a meaningful and memorable experience that is shared with others. 

-Fast Forward  to 1:30pm I get to Big Sur station to register a fire permit. However, I forgot my stove so no need for the permit.  

-ready-to-eat garbanzo beans

-trail mix

-dried mango

-plant-based oreo cookies

-cacao banana with trail mix

-oatmeal (overnight oatmeal, for two days)

  • all of which was consumed by the end of day 3

Pro Tip: I also concealed some oranges in the car as a snack when I got back. ( Your body will crave something citrusy and sweet) 

Started my hike at 2pm and got to Barlow camp at 6pm. The trail is a manageable uphill but at some point it flattens out on the ridge.  

As I trekked along the jagged ridge, the wind howling through the craggy rocks, I had anticipated a revelation, an awakening that would infuse my weary bones with a sense of purpose. I yearned for that “inspiration” that would ignite my soul, making me feel as if I were truly living my best life. But alas, the grandeur of Manuel Peak and Vantana Mountain remained a mere backdrop to my wandering thoughts.

The towering peaks, once rumored to possess an ethereal energy, seemed nothing more than indifferent sentinels in the fading light. The mist hung heavy in the air, shrouding the landscape in an eerie silence that whispered of forgotten tales. Yet, my heart remained untouched, a barren wasteland craving the seed of inspiration.” Ai Generated, but perfectly expresses the expereience.

2nd Day. I trekked 6 miles to Sykes hot springs. The water in the spring looked unsanitized and was more inspired to leave than explore. 

-Fast forward to 3 pm, I found myself at a spring and just layed out in the sun, taking in the water with bare feet and unapologetic stink. I randomly took photos of the water and tried to photograph some plants with some epic sidelight. they came out meh!

-On the 2nd night I had much better sleep and was ready for the hike out.

-On the 3rd day I woke up at 7:30 and headed out by 8:30. The hike back to the car with an 8lbs pack had little to no consequence of difficulty. The proof of this is when I completed the trek in an hour less time.

ohh those oranges were delicious.

This hike is easy.  The difficulty are the long pockets of bare sun exposure.  

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