Beachside Camping at Kirk Creek

Now I will admit, this post is severely delayed... this trip actually took place in mid-July. But in my defense, I started my new job at Uber immediately upon returning, so I've been a bit swamped in ramping up at work. Now I'm finally not feeling overwhelmed (that's a lie, but at least I'm keeping my head above water) and can post about the other summer / fall trips I've been on.

I'd like to start by saying Kirk Creek Campground, perched on a cliff above the breaking waves and lounging seals of Big Sur, is possibly the most difficult campground to book in all of California. When Matt and I drove by it during our summer 2015 trip, we decided we were going to do whatever it took to stay there next year. I calculated precisely 6 months prior to the weekend we'd want it, logged on at 11:59pm, and booked it the second it became available. When our date finally came, we went down with Matt's friend Harry and his girlfriend Sage, and my old coworker Naomi and her fiancĂ© Ben. 

The weather could not have been more perfect. It was sunny all weekend, and even warm enough to jump into the sea a few times. Before the sun completely rose on Saturday morning, Matt and I hiked down a narrow path to the ocean, scaring bunnies back into the bushes as we interrupted their breakfast nibbling. Once down on the sand, we spotted a seal cruising around the cove. I love the feeing of washing my face in the cold salt water first thing in the morning. 

A picture-perfect game of Spikeball in the sand

We spent Saturday lounging at the beach. We packed a cooler of beer and a few sandwiches, planted ourselves in the sand, and enjoyed the sunshine that had been eluding us northward in San Francisco. For hours we played Matt's favorite game Spikeball (a sort of mini, horizontal volleyball game on a round net hovering off the ground), and cooling off by running into the surf in between rounds. Harry turned into a lobster from lack of sunscreen (which actually happens pretty frequently with him), and the sky stayed perfectly blue all day long.

Back at the campsite, we watched the sun go down while we ate fancy cheese, chips + dip, and drank quickly-warming IPAs out of our teeny plastic camping cups. I love adapting life's simple pleasures to the outdoors: without running water or a multitude of serving platters, the snacks seemed to taste even better. 

For dinner we barbecued a variety of fresh summer veggies and shrimp over our fire pit, followed by s'mores as the flames dwindled to embers. We fell into our tents exhausted, tan from the July sun and with sand stuck between our toes. 

I would HIGHLY recommend Kirk Creek as the best campsite in Big Sur. The access to the beach is unbeatable, and the views are stunning any time of day. Just before sunset on Saturday night I think my jaw actually dropped as I stared at the golden illuminated hills and bluffs of the California coastline. With campsite views like that, no wonder everyone wants to wake up here.