We have hiked this trail several times over the years, as it is less well known and crowded. It was nice to be welcomed back again by winter gathering of ladybugs, which congregate in the Santa Lucia mountains around Big Sur.
The path along the stream runs through coastal Redwood forest. The show signs of many forest fires over the years. Although relatively robust and protected by thick bark, sometimes the Redwoods are killed by fire or roots giving way.
The ruins of the 'Tin House' at the top of the ridge are in much drier chaparral with views along the coast.
Montana de Oro is an old ranch and farm on the California coast south of Morro Bay which is now a California State Park: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=592 The Coon Creek trail runs along a stream through dry hills of chert, which form layers in the rock seen below. The path also forms a line.
Condensation trails and lichens in the trees also form lines.
The beginning of Coon Creek Trail shows as a slit between the hills.
William Randolph Hearst built on family holdings to become one of the richest and most powerful men of the early 20th century. He worked with architect Julia Morgen for 28 years (1919-1947) assembling a monumental home on a hill over the California coast. They collected art, antiques and materials from all over the world to symbolize power and ties to the classical past. Hearst Castle is now part of the California state park system.
San Simeon above seen with the palms from the outside gardens. To the left, from the interior looking out; rooms were designed with views in mind.
The interiors of Hearst Castle San Simeon contain furniture, art and pieces of building that WR Hearst bought all over the world. The indoor swimming pool was modeled on Roman baths and is constructed from beautiful blue tiles with gold leaf.
Notable are the ceilings Hearst brought, especially from Spain, Italy and the Middle East.
This post ends the chapter on January 2016 California trip. Below is 2015 summary of renovation work on our house. Hearst Castle it ain't. But we worked hard on the restoration of our modest mid-century bungalow. And we like it.