Karen's Blog

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Pinnacles

In my quest to visit all of the US National Parks, I made my way from Ventura Beach to Pinnacles National Park right outside of Soledad, California.

It was a gorgeous day for a 4 hour drive from Ventura to Pinnacles NP. The Hwy. 101 drive took me through mountains, steep grades, the Salinas River Valley and through agricultural bottomlands including pimento pepper fields and vast wine vineyards.

Arriving in Soledad, I learned that it was named after the 13th Mission established in California and is known as the most technologically advanced and economically productive agricultural region and is known as the “Salad Bowl of the World”. It was a beautiful green (and purple) drive. Can’t forget the fields of radicchio!

After passing through Soledad, the road into the park is very solitary and narrow and often becomes one way as it twists and turns.

The road into the park

The most surprising thing about the park was that I was the only one there. The park had just reopened on the western side.

Mine was the only car in the parking lot.

The park has a strong desert feel and then opens up into these craggy rock pinnacles. Visitors often climb here and also make their way into the many caves.

The jawbone trail. See the jawbone in the distance?

It is definitely not the prettiest national park I’ve been to but I think the hiking, caving, and rock climbing would be excellent. The park is also the place where the California Condor was reintroduced.

As I exited the park, I couldn’t help but notice this last picture. A picture of time passing on.

I wonder about the stories that these buildings could tell.

Karen

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