This weekend Front Porch took a group of students backpacking in Big Sur! We had a wonderful time hiking, exploring nature, climbing waterfalls, seeing wildlife, and spending time together in fellowship. Baheej, Brian, Daniel, John, Juice, Kris, Liz, Sarah, and Tyler got to share in all the adventures.
We hiked along the Salmon Creek Trail about 2 miles to Spruce Camp. The trail heads up the mountain, threading in and out of side canyons, with the majority of the elevation gain in the first mile. Along the hillside, every so often, the trail provides beautiful westward views of Highway 1 and the ocean.
The first group made it before sunset on Friday, and was able to set up camp and collect firewood before the light was completely gone. We made delicious breakfast burritos for dinner, and shared stories of previous camping trips around the fire wile we waited for the second group of hikers coming in to meet us that evening. Once everyone was in camp safely, we went to sleep under a beautiful moonlight night.
Saturday morning was a bit chilly! Typical Big Sur weather brought a cool evening, with overcast skies in the morning hours. Everyone woke up at a leisurely pace, since we had no activities planned at a certain time. A fire was built and breakfast was served (this helped take the edge off the cold). We decided to hike further up the trail and explore a waterfall that we were told was worth the hike. It was!
Upper Salmon Creek waterfall was secluded and gorgeous. The trail lead another ¾ mile up the canyon from Spruce camp, and we took a precarious 100-foot path/washout down into the creek bed to see the waterfall. After climbing around and exploring above the waterfall, we decided to hike back to camp for lunch. Instead of taking the trail though, we rock hopped along the river back to our campsite. How fun it was crawling around trees, rocks, pools, and small cascades as we made our way back to camp. After an hour and a half of walking in the creek, we arrived at camp for lunch. We rekindled the fire, and awaited the arrival of the last two members of our group to arrive for the weekend.
After everyone arrived at camp, we had some free time to enjoy nature. Some napped in the hammocks, some had quiet bible reflection time, and some explored around camp. In the late afternoon, half the group went for a hike up to Dutra Flats for scenic views of the ocean and to watch the sunset. The other half stayed in camp gathering firewood, taking pictures, relaxing, and prepping dinner. After the hikers returned from watching the sunset, we had dinner and fellowship time around the campfire. Baheej got creative with his camera and took some really fun group shots, as we wrote about how much we love Front Porch with our headlamps. After the photo shoot, the temperature dropped so we huddled around the fire to play games and tell more stories.
Sunday morning we awoke to another beautiful, crisp Big Sur day. Breakfast was served with tea, and we packed our gear to wrap up the weekend. Kris, Liz, and Sarah hiked out just after breakfast to get back at a decent hour to allow for study time (what hard workers) while the guys stayed for another few hours to hike and explore. Before the guys went hiking we read some scripture (it was Sunday after all) and loaded up all our gear to be ready to head back to the car after our hike. We went to the waterfall again, so the people who were not there Saturday morning could experience the glory and beauty for themselves.
The hike back to the car was again gorgeous, and rather pleasant. The sun was shining, and a majority of the hike was downhill, so we made good time. On the way home we stopped in Morro Bay for burritos and horchata at Tacos de Mexico. That meal filled our tanks and provided lots of energy for the rest of the afternoon, which was probably spent napping (if everyone was as tired as I was). Spirits were high as we concluded our backpacking trip, and plans are already in the works for our next adventure.