8 Miles South of Napenthe
In Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch:
“I like to think back to my early days on Partington Ridge, when there was no electricity, no butane tanks-no refrigeration and the mail came only three times a week. In those days and even later when I returned to the ridge I managed to get along without a car. To be sure I did have a little cart (such as children play with), which Emil White had kicked together for me. Hitching myself to it, like an old billy goat, I would patiently haul the mail and the groceries up the hill, a fairly steep climb of about a mile and a half. On reaching the turn near the Roosevelt’s driveway, I would divest myself of everything but a jock strap. What was to hinder.” Page 130
In Real Life:
Now, if you don’t rent a house up on Partington Ridge to explore Henry Miller’s hideaway in Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch – then then you can take a VERY LONG HIKE through a canyon, complete with redwoods, and up along a ridge that allows you to look down and see the homes on Partington Ridge. As you are struggling up the steep inclines you can consider yourself lucky because at least you are not dragging a cart of mail and groceries behind you. But Miller not only hiked up his hill, he spent a lot of time in nature. On this hike you are following in his footsteps. He describes his walks “in the forest or over the hills,” in the book. He also talks about “paddling on a deserted beach,” and you can do that too by hiking to Partington Cove just below the ridge.
Forest Hike Information:
Partington Ridge is located 8 miles South of Napenthe and half a mile south of Partington Ridge Road. If you see the sign for Julia Phieffer State Park you have passed the trailhead. The hike into the woods begins on the east side of the road. The first part of it is through Partington Canyon and it’s beautiful. You’ll start to go up a ridge and it gets tougher. If you go all the way to what’s called the Tin House at the top, you can look down and see the houses along Partington Road. One of those is Miller’s. If you take the fire road back down again you can complete the hike in five hours.
Beach hike information:
The Partington Cove hike takes you down to the beach. The beach is a gorgeous sliver of sand and rocks with high surf. There is a tunnel at the bottom of the hike that was used to transport goods from the ships unto land. The round trip hike could take about a half an hour.