Big Sur Mishap – Hiking Partington Cove

Okay kids, there will be no complaining about this hike!  It is easy, there is a cool tunnel, a cove where pirate ships used to port, and John Partington smuggled booze here during the prohibition days.  Sounds simple, right?  No, we are the Boyd family and my kids (including my husband) always want a better view, need to climb to the highest peaks, and want to jump off the cliff into the Pacific Ocean cove we just hiked to.  I am the voice of the reason, or as they like to call me the “safety monitor” of the group.  As they were climbing up the small cliff for the “better view,” I pointed out that someone built a lovely bench to sit on at the point of interest for a reason, but I was clearly talking into the wind.

Hiking down to the pirate cove

Before we left on the hike we were told a native american story or legend about the seals in the area. We always enjoy getting some background or hearing stories from locals, it adds a little flavor to the day. As legend has it, “seals go to the other side of the rocks passed the cliff (my kids and husband decided to climb) and will pass on to the other side while other seals traveling by will often stop by to mourn their lost friends and family.”

The tunnel leading to the cove

Not long after we got to the point we hear a seal barking.  Of course, we run to the edge looking for him, except for one child still climbing down the cliff.  My husband saw the seal and they shared a moment staring into each other’s eyes as I fumbled for the camera to capture it on film.  He said it felt like he was looking into the seal’s soul and it was surreal.  I was bummed we did not capture this beautiful moment that my husband and the seal had just shared when we heard a piercing scream.  We turn around and and see our daughter tumbling and rolling down the cliff with her head inches from slamming against giant rocks and neither one of us could get to her in time before she tumbled to the bottom.

Kids enjoying the view from the small cliff on the point

I cannot even describe the fear I felt as I rushed to her side.  Luckily she did not hit her head or break any bones.  She did get scraped up and was bleeding.  Where is the first aid kit? In the car of course!  My husband took off his shirt, wrapped up her leg and carried her to the top of the hill to get her bandaged up.   I am glad he did it because I do not look as good as he does with my shirt off.  I can joke about it because everything was okay, but it definitely made us realize a few things we need to improve on when hiking with our kids.

Holly safely enjoying the view

Now is a magical time to experience the Big Sur coast.  Why? Currently, just south of the town of Big Sur, there is a 40 mile stretch of Highway 1 that is isolated due to a landslide on one end and a bridge outage on the other.  So, you can either lace up your hiking boots and hike in from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, or drive and experience some serious motion sickness as you head down the long, windy, narrow Nacimiento-Ferguson Road.  If you take either route, you will be glad you did because Big Sur is an adventure you do not want to miss.

View from the top

We got very lucky with our little mishap and want to remind people to be very safe when out enjoying nature.  What seems like fun can turn into a big problem in a split second, and when you are miles/hours away from medical help things can get serious quickly.  Go out and enjoy your next adventure, SAFELY!!




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Comments (16)

  1. Looks like you had a great adventure!!☺

    1. Riserva Tour & Travel

      Amazing hike, little more adventure than we were looking for!

    2. Whoahh these views look stunning! Would love to visit this place

      1. Riserva Tour & Travel

        It is even better in person, go see it!

  2. Hayley Beth

    Sounds like you had quite the adventure!!

    1. Riserva Tour & Travel

      Super fun hike with great history, could have used a little less excitement though! Good teaching moment since nobody got seriously injured.

  3. Nate Johnson

    What a cool hike. Great pictures!

    1. Riserva Tour & Travel

      It is super cool, highly recommend visiting the Big Sur area and checking out the coast.

  4. Wow, the views in these pictures are so gorgeous!! It looks like you all had a good time!!

    1. Riserva Tour & Travel

      You should go see it in person!

  5. Constance

    Beautiful place, great views what more can you ask for

    1. Riserva Tour & Travel

      So true!

  6. Bradley Brashears

    This article reminded me of how much I miss living in California. Some of my favorite hikes were out that way, especially up North. Big Sur is pretty neat. I’m glad you guys got to adventure it!

    1. Riserva Tour & Travel

      No doubt, California has so many beautiful places to explore!

  7. Such a beautiful post!The photos are gorgeous!

    1. Riserva Tour & Travel


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