Camping in Big Sur + Cooking Vegan WITHOUT a Campfire!
This 4th of July weekend, Alex, our pup Maddie and I traveled 5 hours north to Big Sur, on the California Coast, to do some camping. Now before we go any further, I'm going to be honest with you: I'm not going to be honest with you. That was confusing. What I mean is that I can't / won't tell you EXACTLY where we camped in this post because there are a few really great secret spots we know of that have remained nearly untouched, even in a state with nearly 39 million people, and frankly, we want to keep them that way. If you REALLY REALLY are itching to go here, I could maybe tell you. If you pinky promise to never litter or start a campfire there and if you send me a super convincing email about what a great environmentalist you are. Seriously. I like this spot too much to let it get trashed by unknowing or unruly campers. Snobby camping etiquette aside, this place was a serious gem. After a 4 hour drive up route 101, one of the most beautiful scenic coastal drives in California, you have to drive an hour up a twisty dirt road to the top of a small mountain (really large hill?) to get to the area we camped in. We found a place where it looked like someone had set up before, then hiked down and up another hill about 500 yards back to get to this primo spot. Lugging the stuff in kind of sucked, but it was so worth it to have our own super secluded, above-the-clouds campsite. Plus, we started our vacation a day before most people so we were lucky enough to have the place almost completely to ourselves until our last day. Also, we had originally planned on a 3 night stay, but the bugs were incessant, our sun burns (being above the protective loud layer and all) were crisp and our poor puppy was chewed alive and sore from hiking so we went home on day 3 instead. Plus, sleeping in your own bed is always a welcome comfort after ANY amount of time sleeping on the ground.
The sunset that evening was gorgeous, as the sun and pastel clouds dipped behind the thick, foggy cloud layer. It felt like we were at the top of the world. The moon wasn't as bright on night 2 either, so we had a seriously gorgeous view of the night sky filled with stars from our hilltop perch. We look a little silly and sunburned, but it was one of my favorite weekends of the summer so far.
For lunch at the café we ordered a trio of jackfruit street tacos, and a tempeh reuben that was packed with veggies + a side salad. Alex loved the sandwich, but I preferred the tacos. I could've eaten like 20 of those babies, no question.
We'll be camping again next week in Maine and can't wait to find more cozy, underutilized camping spots when we're back in California in August. Get out and explore where you live - there are so many great places to see! Just always remember to remove any trace of you being there so awesome places stay awesome for everyone for a long time. Got any great camping spots? We'd love to hear about them! And we're always looking for new things to cook up in the Jet Boil, so suggestions are most welcome. Thanks for going virtual camping with us!