Day Trip to Rocky Creek, Big Sur

rocky-creek-big-sur-1This summer has been busy, busy, busy with organizing and moving projects! I got a last minute day off, so decided to join my partner Jon in Big Sur on a hiking “sketchpedition” with his drawing and painting group.

First stop, the Starbucks in Carmel Valley for wake-up frappuccino. I don’t drink these often, but was craving one and couldn’t help myself since Jon’s father recently sent him a gift card (thanks Milt!)

A benefit of living in Monterey half the week is that it’s only a 20-minute drive to the north entrance of beautiful Big Sur. The scenic route through Big Sur can take a few hours along the windy highway 1 road south toward Hearst Castle, but we were only going to Rocky Creek today, which is a simple 26-minute drive into it. Here’s a photo I took from the east side of Rocky Creek bridge just north of Bixby Bridge.


Our destination was to several acres of land along Rocky Creek, a couple miles east of highway 1, that belonged to the family of one of the members of the drawing and painting group. The property is a land trust, owned by 25 families for the past 85+ years, and there’s an agreement to not sell, parcel, or develop the land, but rather conserve nature and use it for non-invasive recreational purposes for ever and ever. Sounds good to me.

There’s a gate at the entrance, and a narrow dirt road to follow for a mile.


At the end of the road there is a small parking area lined with redwood trees, just enough space for 3 or 4 cars. The rest of the way is hike-in.


After prepping the art supplies, the hike in was beautiful!




pink flower big sur

There were six of us along for the trip. After setting up camp, each person picked their own spot to draw or paint. Jon chose a small pond and I joined him.


I’m always impressed by the oodles of cool supplies artists own. I have organized many art studios, so I have seen lots. This is called a Pochade box that Jon uses to store & transport supplies, and paint on. It has adjustable legs, just like a camera tripod.


Jon finished his first painting in just over an hour while I read a book on California geology. Then we went for a short exploration hike.

We walked through a forest of redwood and alder trees that survived a fire back in 1942.


And crossed several bridges across the creek built by members of the land trust. Such a peaceful day.


After an hour of appreciating nature and jumping around rock to rock, Jon started his second painting of the day; one of the bridges that cross rocky creek. You can see more of Jon’s sketches, drawings, and paintings on his Wilderness Illustration page.


We got hungry so packed up and walked back to camp. When we arrived, everyone was feeling the same way and we ate lunch together.


After food and showing each others paintings of the day, a few of the artists shared how they store and organize paint brush supplies. Each one had creatively sewn their own paint brush organizer using scrap material, elastic, and even re-purposed bamboo placements…impressive!


Seven hours went by quickly, and it was time to pack up and head home. We stopped for a photo of the famous Bixby Bridge from the east side. It was a lovely day in Big Sur.

Bixby Bridge in Big Sur

Bixby Bridge in Big Sur



Isabella Guajardo, also known as Girl With A Truck™, is a professional home organizer and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). Living in Oakland and Monterey, she travels in her truck to work with clients throughout the SF Bay Area, East Bay, South Bay, Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz and Monterey Peninsula. She shares simple and creative ways to stay organized and stylish while reducing, recycling and re-purposing. Join Bella Organizing on Facebook. Gift certificates are available.

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