Although each season on the Central Coast is uniquely charming, there is perhaps no time of year more enchanting than spring. By mid-March I find I have traded in my knitted beanie and boots for a sun bonnet and sandals. New life sprouts up even in the cracks of sidewalk concrete, and sunlight washes away the shadows of winter. On a bright beautiful day it seems even the locals are filled with a contagious, bubbly joy.
Yesterday was the first time I’ve been hiking up Cerro San Luis Mountain in about a week or so and I swear I’ve never been more astonished at the sudden appearance of wildflowers. Bushels of lupine, California poppy, morning glory, and wild sage envelop the grassy slopes and canyons… embellishing the landscape with vivid color. With every turn of the trail, a breeze would conjure up the spicy smell of fennel; mixed with the scent of sweet dewy grasses- a much appreciated luxury in the middle of my work out. When I finally reached the peak, I was thrilled to see that I’d beat the marine layer and I could literally see for miles. Far ahead of me, I spotted the vineyards of Edna Valley and the dunes of Pismo Beach, and in turning around saw out to glittering waters in Morro Bay.
After some water and a little snack, I began my descent. As I traveled I was serenaded by a menagerie of birds and crickets. A couple times, I even caught the bellow of a wobbling baby calf. (There is almost nothing cuter to me than seeing them buck and play together once they have learned to walk.) The emerald ridges looked almost velvety in the late afternoon sun, and the long shadows of trees and boulders cast a terracotta hue upon the ground. I couldn’t help but smile as I sauntered along, for I knew that the magic of springtime had only just begun.