The directions were these:
"After going through the arches, take a left at the gargoyle and proceed toward the ocean. Eventually, you'll come to another stump with a laughing Buddha on it; go right toward the little cabin and park before the stumps."
I laughed as I read them for the first time, and then again as I read them aloud to my coworkers. "This is a trap," they all said. "We'll send a search party out for you if you're not in the office on Tuesday."
WildTender Ranch was most certainly not a trap. It was a tiny slice of heaven nestled in the untamed hills along Pacific Coast Highway 1. For two days, we camped at the ranch, with sprawling views of the Pacific to our west, and horse-filled mountains to our east.
The campsite was wrapped in fog when we arrived Friday evening, and again when we woke Saturday morning. It was pleasant, though; the dreary weather eased us into relaxation. We sat around the fire, sipped coffee, and made friends with the ranch dog, a huge husky mix named Nella. When the fog burned off around 10:00 AM, I was dumbfounded. The reaches of the Pacific below us were so vast. There was a herd of free-roaming horses not 100 yards away. With the sunshine, everything transformed.
Below is a collection of photos from our time at WildTender Ranch. If you haven't caught the camping bug yet, be warned.