This March, we visited Montana De Oro State Park for our first Shoestring Adventure of 2016!
Located on California’s Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, Montana de Oro is named for the golden wildflowers that bloom in spring. The park features rugged ocean cliffs, secluded sandy beaches and colorful tidepools. The sea caves protect hidden treasures.
While Ashlea and Xoli flew from New York and Connecticut, the rest of us drove several hours in the rain. All of us were greeted with a rainbow at the campground and walked to the beach to watch the sunset.
The rain continued as we ate chicken noodle soup for dinner under a tarp. We crawled into our sleeping bags and slept to the sound of rain.
Saturday morning, the sun came out just in time for our hike to Valencia Peak! We hiked 3.7-miles round-trip and climbed 1275-feet to the summit, enjoying the ocean view beyond the rolling hills bursting with wildflowers.
After lunch, we strolled along the Bluff Trail, stopping along the way to explore the tide pools and enjoy another sunset before returning to camp.
That night after dinner, we gathered around the campfire and toasted s’mores, some of us for the first time ever!
On Sunday morning, we set out to explore a sea cave and a sinkhole. We returned to the parking lot feeling victorious and sat down for a sandwich just as it started to rain.
A few of us decided to meet up in Solvang on the trip home for warm coffee and “Aebleskiver,” or as I call them, “Evel Knievel”. Whatever you call it, it was a delicious treat worthy of a pit stop before returning home.
Special thanks to the amazing Shoestring Warriors of Montana De Oro 2016: Xoli, Ashlea, Katherine, Abbey, Jaymie, Amy, Daniel, Dave, Kathleen and Ari!
Photos by Jaymie Shearer and Alyx Schwarz