What’s It Like At The Top?

I get envious when I see someone on top of this hill by Carmel along HWY 1.

The view from its highest point must be magnificent.

And the feeling, must be incredible.

So I tried a few times, but keep missing the mark or there’s no place to park. Obviously, my navigation and driving skills needs improvement.

Two visits prior, missed and passed it. View glorious but not the same. Again, I wondered what must it be like watching the World at the top as I took a video on an unknown traveler who made it.

Further went farther. I could hardly see our car.

On a Tuesday, determined to climb it after much motivation from my son, I went around after missing the parking spot…again.

Wife scared to cross the closest distance from where we park and the hill’s stairway because of a dangerous blind spot with cars just speeding, she decided it’s safer to walk further. So, I followed her lead, and what a farther lead it was that our son left us and crossed ahead when he saw a safe opportunity.

Since we were already on a detour, we decided we explore the off beaten path and find the bridge we often see from the road. We were curious as to what makes it so special.

Oh my, there’s a waterfall just under the bridge that flows towards a pebbled beach. Special number 1.

I was so tempted to go down but there was a clear sign not to go beyond the safety ropes. Park Staff were circling the area too.

And oh my, two more mini waterfalls. Special number 2.

I let my son and wife go to the bridge first so I can take pictures of them with the waterfall.

Not sure if they notice what I’m seeing collectively. The Carmel Mountains behind them were outshining each other with so much drama and artistry. Special number 3. I stopped counting after that.

I wanted to appreciate everything longer, but wifey kept calling to join them.

Left side mountains has carpets of orange succulents and beige limestones, crowned with misty clouds.

The partly hidden middle mountain was glowing green with sapphire skies.

The right side mountains were deep greens filled with yellow wildflowers. Silver clouds with light ray streaks surrounds them.

Cascading bravely it did to water the greens below. The chandelier of frosted succulents in full bloom cheering it on.

I wish the iPhone camera can capture all that I’m seeing but I know, that would be impossible. So I let my heart capture all of Nature’s spectacular display and hope I had enough time to record everything in my memory.

Now time to climb that hill. Wasn’t as easy as it looked, or maybe my legs were just tired from our Bowflex Max Pro workout that morning. Regardless, we are climbing and surprisingly the wife joined me and my son. Yes, it’s a Family Hike finally!

We did some things together at the top and some individual “Me Time” doing our own thing. We took our time.

It was so beautiful and fun. All exceeded my expectations or maybe because I didn’t really have an expectation except to stand and sit at the top of the hill.

So, we promised to come back and have a picnic. Hopefully, the Sun will join us as well.

The roadtrip has its highlights, including my childish outburst when we can’t park by Monterey. I wanted to park by the side streets, wife wants a parking garage we kept missing. It was so packed, we have to pay 25 dollars for parking just so we could eat at Bubba Gump. So I made a judgment call, hit the pedal and said, “We’re getting out of here.”

I’m surprised, she didn’t hesitated knowing her intense fear of heights. The fighting part worked. Mr. Brat won after all.

Grumpy Dad and Fighter Mom on a silly fight that came out of nowhere. Son was speechless at the back sit probably thinking, “WTF, happened? Wasn’t it Sunny just a minute ago and now it’s a Tornado?”

Until we get there, we always wonder, but once we get there, we don’t know what to do with it and may even waste the chance of a lifetime.

Anyways, we ended up eating at Carmel by the Sea at our favorite oyster place and get to park near the beach for free. 25 dollars for parking went to food splurging. Much delicious. Belly happy.

It’s confusing to walk in a crowded street, should I wear a mask or not? Is everyone vaccinated. Is it safe? So I tried both. So far, no symptoms.

When I mellowed down, I asked my wife who was quiet pissed off, “How’s my acting drama?” She hesitated to answer for a few seconds than said laughing, “You’re such a brat!”

Oh well, I never said I was totally Mr. Nice Guy. I have my insane emotional outburst moments that shifts quickly like the Nature I’m drawn to be close so much.

26$ per dozen. Had to slowly indulge. No leftovers.

Relationships are never pure Heaven and Cloud 9. Hell and War comes every now and then. What matters, love overcomes the pain and not so pleasant feelings. Love teaches us to compromise, forgive, move forward and try again. No one backs out or retreat once lovey dovey romance fizzles out and reality takes over. We face the challenges head on through thick and thin.

When in a new love spell, we only see beauty, and not the beast. All persons are both. It’s loving both that will determined who gets their fairy tale ending and who keeps searching for their Happily Ever After.

Not all travels are perfect. Sometimes, stress and tiredness gets the best of us. What’s important is that we snap back quick, humbly redeem ourselves and remember why we are traveling, whom where traveling.

The journey is never all clear and picture perfect. Editing and cover ups only make things worse. Besides, too perfect is boring.

Happy moments and memories does not happen by chance. It needs work and effort. It requires giving and patience.

Same place, different reasons and experience. No travel is the same. No people are the same. So, we learn to appreciate the differences and be thankful for what we share in common.

Now, back to what’s it like at the top now that I made it?

Honestly, lonely and empty if I am all alone in it.

I wouldn’t really enjoy the success no matter amazing if I have no one to share it with.

People may perceive us as being up there, when our hearts are in the bottom below. Success is not the same as Happiness. Money and career doesn’t fill the heart with what it truly craves. People are just easy to judge and speculate. Chances are, everyone’s wrong but will not find time to find out what’s really the truth behind our stories. Too inconvenient. Too much work. So we choose superficiality and disconnect and fill it with fleeting fun and things of this World. Never the same. Never will give us peace nor satisfaction.

Having my wife snd son with me is the prize all along.

And the prizes just keeps coming whether I won them or not, earned them or just extra life blessings.

No Man is an Island. We don’t know what that means until we become alone and isolated from everyone we love. It’s the loneliest island on the Planet no matter materially jaded.

Success is subjective. No correct answer. Just the right feeling once we made it at the top.

About Island Traveler

Just a Man too curious where his dreams will take him.
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8 Responses to What’s It Like At The Top?

  1. robstroud says:

    I’ve always shared a deep fondness for waterfalls. You captured them beautifully in your pictures. Of course, all of your landscapes are impressive.


  2. The landscape looks simply stunning. Glad to hear that you finally made it to the top of the hill. And how special to share that experience with your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ourcrossings says:

    Yet another wonderful collection of amazing photos from one of the most incredible places on Earth! Pacific Highway 101 winds around incredible national parks, through giant redwoods, next to scenic coastline, past towns and villages, not to mention across three states on the West coast of America -what a place to have on your doorstep. I am glad your persistence paid off and you were able to take in the views from the top of the cliff! Thanks for sharing and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Aiva. There is a great reward in persistence though most of the time, I’m speechless of what I see and discover, or perhaps my happiness is too easy. It’s worth the 90 minutes drive every time. Same highway , different adventures. Wifey wants to have a change of scenery because mostly she stays in the car. This trip, she saw what I saw, & my, she did her thing…selfies!

      Liked by 2 people

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