The many faces of Point Lobos: Scribbles from North Shore Trail

Every day, human eyes take it all in and react. Poets to sullen teens, plein air painters to harried parents, wheel chair bound admirers to stopwatch vacationers. For some, the wonder is readily apparent. Others can hardly wait to get back to something else, usually electronic. Mostly, it's awe and respect and sheer joy.  Especially to discover those with a "link" to this special place: a great-great-great grandson of A. M. and Satie Allen; or descendents of Quock Moi, Portuguese whalers or Japanese divers.  When they visit, it's a special time of wonder all its own.
Each season brings it's own "face" ... all four a perfect ten, but maybe one in particular a ten plus depending on what floats your boat: the start of the gray whale migration and stormy, dramatic waves in winter; a seal birth and jaw-dropping wildflower displays in spring; eerie "fogscapes" in summer with humpbacks and blues just offshore; and glorious contemplative hike weather in fall.
Terrestrial and marine inhabitants bring their own faces. From lunge feeding humpbacks to the steely eyed stares of Ospreys, Peregrine Falcons and Red-shouldered Hawks; nursing otters to the inquisitive glances of a fawn following mom up and over Whalers Knoll; the grin of a mother Harbor Seal and its nursing pup to the begging gaze of a ground squirrel or Scrub Jay.  To which we say, please don't feed.
Even rocks and trees get into the act. There are shapes that mimic turtle faces, camels, seals and even VW Beetles. Along South Shore Trail and you can spot a ghost shouting in the "ear" of a skull (in eroded sandstone just north of the dirt parking lot before Piney Woods). And be sure and pause a moment to speak to the gargoyle-like "face" of Old Veteran.  It's visible from North Shore Trail, but use binoculars or a telephoto please!  Remember to stay on the Trails ... to avoid the perils of poison oak, of course, but for your own safety and to prevent premature erosion of these delicate, incredibly special features.
"As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing, and get as near to the heart of the world as I can ... to remove the shell of who we think we are and expose ourselves to the great power of the natural world and let that power reshape us."  Gretel Ehrlich


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