Breathtaking Carmel Meadows
The view from the boulders at the trailhead here is stupefying.
From a vantage point about 50 feet above, the sun makes Carmel
Bay a blinding sheet of corrugated metal and the sky is a
palette for wispy brush-stroked clouds. On your left is Point
Lobos, sticking its wolf-shaped peninsula into the water. And,
on the right, Carmel River has etched another landscape through
descend the narrow trail feeling exhilarated. Lupine is a breath
away and molten gold poppies are just beginning to unfurl in the
verdant hillsides. I stoop to stroke the pollen-dusted satiny
petals, making note not to stick my fingers up my nose
Compact cottontails leap into the thicket; and a snake, lazing
in the sun on the powdery path, slithers away as I approach.
waves, opulent in every shade of sapphire and emerald, strike
like tambourines. Have I died and gone to heaven?
then I notice a woman jogging, her unleashed Chihuahua running
taking my power walk, at the moment,Ē she says loudly into her
can people wear earplugs and talk on cell phones, blocking out
the sounds of crashing waves and the echoes of seagullís calls?
simply cannot abide this behavior.
make my way along the trail, lined with mounds of yellow mustard
plant, I look up to the old wooden cross erected, Iím told, so
that early navigators could find the Monterey Peninsula. When I
reach the cross I always stand on the metal bench mark inscribed
with the year of my birth: 1949.
leave offerings here: flowers, beads, bits of polished glass or
shells. I have come here to remember my mother because, on her
deathbed, one of the songs she most favored was ďThe Old Rugged
river below, gleaming mallards and their brown sparrow drakes
float placidly in the murky water. On weekends, parents lounge
on Carmel River State Beach and watch their kids take running
leaps down the sides of the sand banks and plunge, giggling,
into the shallows.
feasting on the views and inhaling enough sea air, I head back
to the trailhead but take stairs up the side of the hill where
mansions sit like eagles on their nests.
lover that I am, I also appreciate architecture. And several of
these homes speak to my soul; in particular, a concrete and
aqua-tinted glass fortress that soars over the cliff. Its roof
is at street level and is covered with neat tufts of grass -
ultra modern and environmentally correct.
always, I leave when a setting sun spills its egg yolk over the
pink ocean, and I feel as if Iíve had a vacation in a distant
land . . .
If you decide to visit, take Highway One and shortly after you
cross Carmel River you will see a small sign on the right:
Ribera Canyon Road. Take it to the very end where the park trail
starts, be considerate of all beings that live there, and enjoy!