Friday, April 27, 2012

Limekiln State Park

Redwood Sorrel
Backlit Fern
Banana Slug

I took a day trip to Limekiln State Park a few days ago. It is located in the southern part of Big Sur along the  California coast. I had never been there before and wanted to see it before the State of California closes it next July. :-(  It is a magnificent place and includes everything from Redwood forests, fern lined trails, rushing streams, and even campsites right on the beach. It is tragic to imagine the loss for all of us if the State really does close it. The forest is rich and complex and host to vibrant ferns and plantlife. The creek's year-round water supply provides excellent habitat for diverse animals, including mountain lions, bobcats, squirrels, deer, foxes, raccoons and ring-tailed cats.

Beginning in 1887 thousands of barrels of lime were extracted, processed and exported from Limekiln Canyon. Four stone and iron furnaces were built at the base of a large talus slope eroding from a limestone deposit. Limestone rocks were loaded into the kilns, where very hot wood fires burned for long periods to purify it. The lime was packed into barrels, hauled by wagon to the coast, loaded onto ships and transported to northern ports for use in concete. Much of early San Francisco was built using the lime from Limekiln. Today only ruins remain of the thriving lime industry that existed here.

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