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The Plan Is Point Lobos
by Thomas Schueneman

The magnificent coastline at Pt. LobosMonday went according to plan, quite by accident…

It was our last day at the little hotel on the quiet end of Cannery Row, overlooking Monterey Bay.

Sun filtered through thick wooden shudders as morning broke – the sun wouldn’t last, and, it soon seemed, nor would my plan. But as I lay there in the cool morning air, listening to the eternal roll of the ocean on the coast, the playful barking of wakening sea lions in the distance, I still had a plan...

And ultimately, that plan was to walk along the shoreline of Point Lobos State Park. I viewed the pea-sized hail we were greeted with as we checked out of the hotel as a sign that plans can change and evolve.

After making s few stops at shops and book stores on Cannery Row and in neighboring Pacific Grove, the sun reemerged from behind the storm clouds. We had not expected it, due to the earlier storminess of the morning, but we were on schedule, according to plan, heading south down Route 1 past Carmel and the infamous 17-mile-drive, toward Los Lobos State Park.

California is blessed with one of the most majestic and awe-inspiring coastlines I’ve ever seen. Los Lobos State Park, just a few miles south of Carmel on route 1, is an example of some of the best coastline California has to offer. And with easy access to boot!

We love this place - Scampering over rocks, investigating tide pools, standing on the rocky shore watching the waves break around your feet. Or just meditating on the ocean…

Up and down the rugged coast, boulders are strewn like small island. Grace Cathedral in San Francisco is splendid; a forest of stone and marble that evokes the spiritual - but here is where God truly lives.

As we started out the sun was shining, and I was warm enough with just a light shirt. Jayne was bundled a bit more sensibly, as if inclement weather was still a possibility. As the magnificent cloudscape suggested, beaming in the afternoon sun, more weather was right there, hanging off the coast.

But we were off trying to capture the sea and sky and coastline on film, each looking for our own ways to try and get all this beauty inside the camera. I ran out of film and almost immediately started to feel the chill bite through my shirt, as a solitary rain drop landed on the tip of my nose.

I met up with Jayne and we started to head back to the truck, almost making it before the rain started to fall in earnest.Thinking it was time to hit the road back for home, we drove down the trail a short way to a picnic area in order to use the facilities there before heading out.

By the time we had finished, the sun was back out and Jayne was taking pictures of the rain drops hanging from the branches of fir tress, like ephemeral jewels.

It was a beautiful combination of weather. Billowing cloudscapes, pounding seas, rain, and then sun, all combining to make the park breath with an effervescence; a cool, green lushness. I found a trail that led up into the surrounding forest and followed it a short way.

It looked too good to pass up, at least for a little while, so I hurried back to the trailhead and motioned for Jayne to come hither…

We hiked back up into the woods for about a mile through tall, green forest, dripping from the recent rain. We walked into a clearing high above the coast, revealing a fantastic view of the sea crashing into the shoreline. I stood and breathed the clean, crisp air and tried to soak it all in. I wished we could have stayed a little longer, lingered a little more, in this quiet, peaceful place.

But it was time to turn around and head back to the truck, to the traffic, and to the hustle and bustle of the urban lives we call home.

Tom lives in San Francisco and works as a sound engineer, freelance writer, and entrepreneur. He enjoys traveling, nature, reading, photography, and music.


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