filed under: flotsam & jetsam
sea ranch, california is a small town with rich historical roots. it was inhabited by the pomo indians until the late 19th century, when german and russian settlers arrived. it was an actual working sheep ranch in the 1940’s.
a few buildings from the turn of the century are still standing along the rugged coastline today.
the wooden-sided contemporary lodge is perched on a bluff overlooking the deep dark pacific ocean, on the west side of highway one. we had stayed at ventana in big sur several years ago, and that is on the east side of the road. it makes a difference. the lodge is surrounded by tress and lovely gardens, with adirondack chairs dotting the property. the main building houses the restaurant, gift shop, reading room with telescope and fireplace, and bar. all the rooms in the building have magnificent views of the ocean.
i had booked room no. 10 for us. it was on the top floor, very spacious, with a king bed, soft pile wall-to-wall carpeting, lofted ceilings, warm knotty pine walls and a built-in, el-shaped daybed in the corner of the room, that looked out on unobstructed western and northern views. the windows opened easily so we could enjoy the fresh air and breezes throughout our room — no need for a/c or a white noise machine to get to sleep.
there are 8 miles of walking trails along the cliff, with beach access at certain points. we didn’t get a chance to tour them, but we did go out to the edge of the property to peer over the edge. the cliff has been formed in such a way that it narrows at a point, and there are 2 smaller inlets with caves and rocks in what appears to be shallower water. we stopped to look down and saw a white thing moving on one of the rocks.
it was a seal taking a nap.
when we looked around the area a bit more we realized that there was an entire seal colony, all bobbing their heads above the water’s surface until a wave would come, and then ducking under in unison. there were at least 200 of them. i knew this was whale-watching territory, but their season ends in may, so it was a wonderful surprise.
since everywhere you looked was ocean, and everything you heard was ocean, the setting provides a place for quiet reflection and relaxation.
n.b. a couple things: 1) it was a cool 60 degrees there in the middle of June, so be sure to check the weather before you go — you may need polar fleece; and 2) your food options are limited because of the relatively remote locale, but the restaurant on the property is very good and offers magnificent breakfasts!
i can’t wait to return. for rates and reservations, click here.