My first...National Park

It was my 34th-year of life to be exact, this year. I wasn’t even planning on going to a National Park my first time. I had read all about Big Sur and knew I just, I needed to see it, be in it, do the whole damn thing for my first solo vacation.

You see, when you age, so does your mind and body and when Hotels.com said ‘this hotel is only 30 miles away from Big Sur,’ I was like yes, you’re so much more affordable than many of your counterparts. Didn’t map one thing around me, just trusted the Internet…

Cut to 1.5 hours to Big Sur each way - because yes, in theory, we are 30 miles from Big Sur but that’s through private roads not accessible to gen pop.

But this isn’t about my destination, it’s about my ride.

My hotel de California was in King City, 40~ miles to Pinnacles National Park. I was determined to make the most of my morning and headed straight through central California for Pinnacles and arrived quite early in the am. Note for notes: very remote cell services. Be sure to prep and map it out because this is quite off the grid. Small, windy county roads, no gas or water or anything for at least the last 20 miles.

Cutie park peeps greeted my arrival with hikers and overnighters galore. I took off for the moderate hike to Bear Gulch Cave Reserve. Despite the absolutely asinine bros who thought they could call the bats with their cries of mediocracy, the cave and hike were quite enjoyable.

I was shocked that I could fit in my National Park beauty (minus bro cries) into 2 hours or less and really, the bat cave was well fitting for my first time. I felt energized and ready to head to my next destination. While I would’ve loved to hike all day, this was the perfect, bite-sized first time.

Legend has it...really science has it…

Some 23 million years ago multiple volcanoes erupted, flowed, and slid to form what would become Pinnacles National Park. What remains is a unique landscape. Travelers journey through chaparral, oak woodlands, and canyon bottoms. Hikers enter rare talus caves and emerge to towering rock spires teeming with life: prairie and peregrine falcons, golden eagles, and the inspiring California condor.

The full hiking details on #LadyHikers.

Check out these textures and colors in nature!

Charlie has over 10 years experience in social media, creative copy and multimedia, including a 4-year stint in the government, making science cool and accessible to the general public. She is now the main lady behind Checkmark Creative, a marketing boutique for the small biz and freelancer, based in Long Beach, CA.