Limekiln State Park

Paige and I are back from our first father-daughter camping trip. We went to Limekiln State Park south of Big Sur on HWY 1. Paige is effervescent and highly talkative. I learned A LOT. I learned that in her next life, she wants to be a four-leaf clover, because she wants to bring good luck to people. Either that, or a squirrel, because they’re cute. Here she is playing at the confluence of Hare Creek and the Pacific.

Neilson landscape photography california big sur hwy 1 limekiln state park hare creek pacific ocean sunset

My kiddo, taking the measure of a redwood sapling. How cool would it be if, one day, the redwood tree stands over 200 feet and has notched several hundred years, and Paige was the only human on the planet to have patted its crown, wishing it well?

Neilson landscape photography california big sur hwy 1 limekiln state park redwood sapling

Hare Creek in the late afternoon, burbling out of the Los Padre National Forest, on its way to the Pacific.

Neilson landscape photography california big sur hwy 1 limekiln state hare creek burbling among redwoods

Pure, unbridled Paige.

Neilson landscape photography california big sur hwy 1 limekiln black and white smile

Strolling among giants of the Earth.

Neilson landscape photography california big sur hwy 1 limekiln state park redwoods

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Of Time and the River

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In the heart of Los Padres National Forest, the Big Sur River is carving steep gorges and sharp-crested ridges. Sykes campground—where I captured the image above—is a 10-mile hike through untamed canyon wilderness. It was a challenging destination to reach even when there was an established trail. But now in the wake of fires, road closures, and erosion damage, this lovely little spot is next to impossible to reach.

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