Out Living It: Big Sur Adventure With First Descents

Five different flavors of Kettle potato chips (Honey Dijon for the win), 4 beautiful hikes, 3 sunshiny days, 2 campfire evenings & 1 camp cleanup dance party made for one heck of a fun weekend.

This was a trip of many firsts: my first trip with Shoestring Adventures, my first visit to Big Sur, my first introduction to First Descents, and to top everything off, my first case of poison oak!

First Descents is an amazing organization that provides outdoor adventures for young adults impacted by cancer.  This was an FD alumni trip, and our 10 participants came from all over California to join in the weekend fun.

Day 1

We met at our campground the afternoon of the 12th, set up camp, and then walked off our road trip legs on the Valley View Overlook Trail.  It was dense with Redwoods and the light was golden.  A hearty hobo meal followed after, and soon bellies were full & eyelids heavy. 


Day 2

After copious amounts of strong coffee & granola, we started our day at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, which offers a taste of everything the Big Sur coast has to offer — redwood groves, remote beach access and bluff views.  We made lunch back at camp & then hit the road again to see the iconic McWay Waterfall.  McWay is a tidefall, a waterfall that empties directly into the ocean, and it’s only one of two in California.


One of the traditions of FD is to give each person a nickname — I was the only person without a nickname until the second day, when I recalled that a barista once mispronounced my name as “Mooshka.” “Moosh” stuck, and so here I am.

We sealed the day with a hike to Partington Cove, followed by tacos and most importantly, s’mores with Reese’s.

Day 3

After pancakes and coffee, we ended our trip with a 2 mile stroll through Andrew Molera State Park on the Creamery Meadow Trail.  This is where the 5 bags of Kettle Chips had their shining moment as we ate a picnic lunch, played in the sand, and said goodbye to each other, for now. 


Cheers to an awesome weekend!  If you’re interested in joining us in Big Sur, check out our October trip here.

If you’re interested supporting outdoor adventures for young adults impacted by cancer, please visit our First Descents fundraising page to make a donation.

-Moosh (Mikaela)

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