Dan and Hannah Hike in Big Sur at Limekiln State Park with the Family Rawding 2020

Is there any more romantic, adventurous sounding place than Big Sur?  I think not.  Today’s blog is mostly a pictorial of our day with Molly’s Family in Big Sur.

Lime boys in cockpit

In control, Owen and Max flying from Boston to Los Angeles

Awaking before first light with our daughter Molly’s family (her hubby Tip, Owen [7], and Max [5]) here in California during their winter school vacation week, we drive north on The 101 up the coast.

Lime map from carp to san simeon

In San Luis Obispo we take the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway Route One) through Cambria to the Elephant Seals Rookery near San Simeon.  After nearly two and a half hours in their rented mini-van, we are ready to stretch and be entertained by 5000 pound male and 1500 pound female elephant seals.

Lime 1 elephant seals

Elephant Seal Rookery, San Simeon, California

Lime 1A elephant seals

Lime 1B Molly with seals

Molly on the quarter mile boardwalk above the elephant seals

Tip’s video below.

Back in the mini-van, we soon hit the hairpins and deep drops to the Pacific of the PCH in Big Sur.  In addition, gas prices take a spike.

Lime 2 tip driving on pch

Tip negotiates the switchbacks along the Pacific Coast Highway

Lime 2A gas at gorda

Gas in Gorda in Big Sur California

Four hours after leaving our Pacific home away from home in Carpinteria, we turn into the first of the Big Sur State Parks, Limekiln.  For $10 we have three family trails at our disposal.

Lime map 2

We begin with Hare Creek Trail, then the Limekiln Trail before wrapping up with the Falls Trail

We tackle Hare Creek first.

Lime 3 hare creek sign

Lime 3 Hare creek

Lime 3B more hare creek

Lime 3F family on trail use

Lime 3G D and H with O and M on trail

Lime 3J D and H on trail

Then we wind our way to the actual lime kilns themselves, with.

Lime 4 to kilns H and O on log

Owen with his Omi upon a fallen redwood

Lime 4A kiln itself

An actual 19th century lime kiln

And then comes our coup de grace, our joie de vivre, our plume de ma tante – The Falls Trail.  Last year, Hannah and I loved sloshing ankle- and calf-deep through the wild streams on the way to the Falls thanks to the heavy winter rains of 2019.  With the rushing water of Hare Creek in our minds, we six are primed for some serious water creek soaking that I had promised.

At the first creek crossing, I’m bummed to see logs and branches arranged to get us across – without getting wet!  See below.

Lime 5 creek crossing

Maybe the next crossing!  But no, more logs allow a dry-hiking-shoe-crossing again.  I am crestfallen.  Everyone else is pumped.

Lime 5B more creek crossing

Max crossing with his Omi

Twice more we cross the creek without getting soaked.  Oh, the foolish promises I make.  At long last we are at the base of the falls for another very doable crossing that even the five- and seven-year-olds handle quite nicely.

Lime 5D creek crossing

High and dry, we make it to the Limekiln Falls

Lime 6 falls with rawdings

Limekiln Falls

My video of the falls.

We return just as we had come crossing the creek five times without a single slip into the creek.  Maybe next year!

Lime PCH

Lime 7 Pch heading home

Whupped after a day on the trails of Big Sur, we head 180 miles south to sleep well in Carpinteria for the night.

7 thoughts on “Dan and Hannah Hike in Big Sur at Limekiln State Park with the Family Rawding 2020

  1. Lush, lively, and colorful post of one of our favorite California Central Coast hikes. Thanks Dan and Fam. We have hiked Lime Kiln in late June and were surprised to spot Thimbleberry plants with their white blossoms growing on the sunny slopes between the redwoods.

    • Great to connect. Limekiln State Park was a surprise jewel for us since we’d hike the majestic redwood state parks of Julia Pfeiffer Burns, Pfeiffer Big Sur, and Andrew Molera. And Limekiln is closer to Carpinteria! Isn’t that a great state park map of Limekiln since there’s a map of its location in Big Sur and another in California! Are these parks even open now?

  2. Dear Dan and Han, I love love love those pictures. They’re stunningly clear (new camera? ) so I can see your cute faces. I’m awestruck that those two youngest darlings could hike with you all day. Wow. You surely stock those days in your memory larder, for when you and and Han are 90, and perhaps, only perhaps, not so nimble on the trails. Just precious. We loved it, too, but not in such an athletic fashion, darn it! Molly is adorable and what parents they are, eh?

    Were the kids really allowed in the cockpit? Remember, “back in the day”, kids were escorted up to the front, by the attendant, and ended up with a wings pin. Maybe you and Han?

    The l00’s are upon us, first time I’ve ever been in the pool in April. Be well, d


    • Yes, the kids were allowed in the cockpit. Molly and Tip make things happen for their kids. We have an ASU mentor of Hannah’s keeping us updated on your 100s. We’ve had two days at 70s, our first real spring. To quote Davy Crockett, some days you get the bear, and somedays the bear gets you. The bear is coming for AZ after spending the winter in Maine. The camera is my iPhone8. It’s amazing what it can do. Are you iPhone or an Android phone user? Molly and Tip are very intentional parents and those boys are the beneficiaries. And so are we!

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