Ventana Wilderness on California’s Central Coast

Plastics play a pivotal roll in our success when it comes to deep back-country backpacking. From strong ABS clips that keep everything locked in place, to Nylon in the clothing helping to wick moisture, and especially in the trekking poles that allow us to distribute 30% of the load to our upper body.For this trip, we set out on a 20+ mile (round trip) hike to Sykes Hot Spring in the Ventana Wilderness, East of Big Sur on California’s Central Coast. This is a favorite place of mine, and this was my third journey here in the span of one month.A close friend’s recent untimely passing had us accomplish this hike in his memory. We celebrated his life, and enjoyed every minute of it!We set up camp along a river. Along side the river sit four hot springs, averaging temperatures between 100F and 106F — Perfect hot tubs, miles and miles from civilization.

We packed in some beer and watched a meteor shower from the springs as the stars illuminated the sky. “Cheers to Tom!” we shouted. From then on, silence except for a gentle breeze that rustled the leaves.

That, to me, is living. I hope you enjoy these few images from our campsite.


Posing with my Interstate Plastics keychain.


Alex’s failed attempt at the peace symbol, standing next to his hammock. A light way to pack if you can sleep in a cocoon nest.


Down by the river.