Tuesday, January 11, 2011

at the inn

redwood forest, big sur, california

deetjen's big sur inn*in the early 1930's, helmuth deetjen, a norwegian immigrant, came with his wife helen to big sur. they bought a hundred and twenty acres of land in castro canyon and began building a homestead. before highway one was completed in 1937, castro canyon was a traditional stopover for travelers making their way along the coastal wagon road. the deetjens welcomed overnight guests, and thus, the big sur inn was created.
over the years, deetjen built norwegian-style rooms and gave each of them a name:antique apartment, new room, champagne, chalet and granpas. all work was done by "granpa" deetjen and friends using locally milled, scavenged redwood.
the inn exists today because, when deetjen died in 1972, he left the inn "to be forever enjoyed by transient guests wanting to experiance the
peace, friendship and beauty that can be found at the inn".
the inn is a registered national historic site. it is operated by the deetjen's big sur inn preservation foundation.*

last friday, at daybreak, we took off for the anniversary weekend we had planned since october. unstormy weather finally permitted, after two cancellations, the third time was a charm! our destination was deetjen's big sur inn, two hundred miles up the coast...

we spent 3 wonderful days with no phones, internet, television. the weather was cold and clear. we hiked, we sat and did nothing, we listened to the creeks run, so full with water this time of year. we ate beautiful meals and drank wine (me) and beer (him). we took lots of photos. we slept late (for us) in our lovely cozy down bed. and we spent hours in the emergency care clinic when chuck cut his leg, requiring 13 stitches (and 15 shots). but he's okay, we were extremely grateful it wasn't worse and that he recieved such good care in this wilderness area.

we are back now, but my head is still in the redwood forest...

surf check on the way up the coast, moonstone beach, cambria

elephant seals, san simeon

bixby bridge, big sur

view from our room

breakfast at deetjen's

the forest

dinner at the inn

the start of a nearby trail

what happened on this trail

point sur lighthouse (on top of the big rock)

inside the lighthouse, i learned these prisms drew light down inside
illuminating the room where the lighthouse keeper worked

the lighthouse, i think it's scary up here

the prisms, a source of light before electricity

to get to the lighthouse, you park at the bottom of the rock and climb, first the road leading up and then many stairs

my new camera

happy cows that live near the lighthouse

moo = hmm?

back to the forest

knitting in our room

looking and listening closely revealed small critters of the forest...

big sur banana slug

ladybird beetles or ladybugs

webs i didn't mind seeing

happy anniversary honey
(glad to have figured out the self timer on my new camera)

nepenthe at night

meditative knitting by the creek

found at the big sur bakery, someone else's knitted coffee sleeves, cute!

saying goodbye to granpa's room... goodbye mouse (that lived in the room), goodbye racoons, goodbye wood stove, and cozy down bed, and record player with the scratchy records, goodbye rushing creek and goodbye redwoods...

goodbye big sur, till next time

thank you honey for such an unforgettable time, and thank you for coming along, it is always such a pleasure to share great adventures!
♥ lori


  1. ohhhhhhhh & ahhhhhhhh
    ♥love to you & your sweet Hubby♥
    Happy Happily ever after!

  2. Looking at these pictures once will not do! I wish we could look at them together and you could answer all my questions! What happened to Chuck`s leg? What was that for breakfast? Cake and whipped cream? Yummy! Was the mouse still in that room when you left? Are´n`t Redwoods amazing trees? I`m sure they can talk. How did you find out they were also Norwegians? (not the trees) Where you sit there under the tree, knitting, you really look like a Norwegian Navajo! You were so clever to find that - what was the word? Selbstausl√∂ser in German. You both look so happy together! I`ll write you a mail tomorrow!

  3. Yippeee... you finally got to where you wanted to be and it was wonderful :)

    Sorry to see Chuck got injured... maybe you could elaborate on that. I assume all will be well again soon.

    Awesome photos as usual Lori... you are my favourite photographer.
    Your photos are like no other.
    I like your relationship with light.

    I particularly love the photo of the seal It makes me want to reach out and hug it.

    I'm looking forward to another year with you here in our wonderful blogland.

    x Robyn

  4. i LOVE LOVE LOVE big sur. we've stayed at the Big Sur lodge and at another place that I can't remember the name of. And I love nepenthe! makes me remember my hippie days, and relaxation, and beautiful scenery. I do think you should NOT beat up on Chucks leg tho' - not fair!!!

  5. It looks so wonderful & peaceful there.

  6. Oh, Happy Anniversary to you two!! Daniel and I LOVED Big Sur and spent as much time there as we could. Such a gorgeous place! I hope that Chuck's leg is all taken care of and I hope it heals quickly. I enjoyed seeing all the photos of you knitting everywhere... Love, Silke

  7. Awe.... you two are so sweet! I have not been there but I'm going to put it on my list!! Thank you for the pics......they are gorgeous!!!

  8. one of the most beautiful places on earth. Its hard to get a feeling across about what its like to be there, but you did it.
    like what your doing with your new camera.

  9. Beauitful and wonderful!!!I lived in Cambria for 6 months and I have a very good friend that lives there, never made it to Big Sur though, I regret that. Thank you for sharing this lovely time with us, sorry chuck got hurt(what on earth happened?)! xoxo

  10. Simply incredible! What a lovely life. I hope someday that my husband and I will be visit deetjen's big sur inn as well. Thank you so much. You have always taken outstanding photos, but these are really special.

  11. my very favorite: 'knitting in our room'

    most educational: the ladybugs

    most amazing: the seal

    most comforting: you and chuck together

    most amazing # 2: the mists in the woods

    i could go on. if i could get back to your photos from her in the comments section, my list would go on forever.

    i loved knowing you would be posting these shots, lori. and they did not disappoint one miniscule molecule ♥

    one big sur and one big yellow: don't we just love it all?!

    i hope chuck's gash is okay. 13 stitches is alot. i had 8 once when i fell in the tub when a very small child. i won't say where, but the scar has been a conversational badge of courage at very interesting moments :)

    i love you always lori

  12. AWESOME - the weather finally co-operated and you got the weekend
    AWESOME - the lighthouse - I want to go into one too
    AWESOME - the views, the walks, the area, the animals
    AWESOME - the inn
    AND MOST AWESOME - new camera and working the selftimer to take the gorgeous pic!

  13. Hello dear Lori,

    What a wonderful anniversary you had, despite Chuck's stitches. Ouch.

    Don't you love it at Deetjens? I LOVE the restaurant with the arbor and the huge festoons of pink Cecile Bruner roses all over. The scents, the big table in the first room to the right (I've always wanted to have Thanksgiving there). It is such a wonderful place to just be, to just listen and feel, and smell! The scents are amazing.

    Love the photo of you two, the photo of you knitting, well, love 'em all.

    Big hug and happy January,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  14. Fahlip your photos are FABULOUS!

    What a beautiful, beautiful place to fall and hurt oneself. I am hoping his leg gets better soon! Such a pretty bandage for a boy!!

  15. Amazing photos and happy anniversary AND happy new year Lx

  16. Oh, Lori! I love Big Sur. What a magical place to celebrate an anniversary. You and Chuck, btw, are the cutest couple ever. Lovely pictures, lovely lighting. Sigh. I am having a 'missing California' moment. ;) xox! Pam

  17. Hi Lori! I had the pleasure of staying at the Inn years ago ... and the additional joy of exploring that unbelievable part of our Pacific Coast. Your photos are absolutely professional, and lovely!

    No more injuries on those excursions of yours ....

  18. happy anniversary! what a beautiful weekend - this is on my to-do list when i return to california. what a lovely lovely post. you and your husband appear to be wonderful people. i too would like to have the same experience you both did (and know my husband would too)... we are the same kind of people if you will... nice to see your view of the world lori ann! so glad we met. anushka

  19. Nepenthe is one of my all time favorite gift shops! And the vista from Cafe Kiva...sigh. I sure miss it so much. I lived a half hour from Big Sur.
    But you enabled me to "be there" right alongside of you. Thank you ;)

    I can't believe you went up in that lighthouse! And those prisms, wow oh wow. Wonderful photos, every single one of them.

    Sorry about Chuck's boo-boo. I'm glad he was able to get good care.

    Hurray for you two to finally get to your romantic getaway weekend! I love the peaceful look on your face sitting and knitting in your cozy room. Enchanting.

    Lori, I have to tell you it makes my heart sing that you love that painting so much. Thank you for telling me. It's one of the simplest little ones I've done, but the whole reason I do any of it is so it can speak to the person it lives with ;)

    I hope your baby girl is warm and cozy in this snowstorm. I'm hunkered down in the studio and loving it!

    love and hugs~


  20. ....hi lori...well...you have just gotten back from my favorite place on earth. john and i have spent many birthdays, anniversary's...halloween's and just beacuse days there....so have julie and i on our way up to san francisco and napa on a girlfriend weekend....it has to be just about the most charming place on earth...

    i have tried to make farmhouse kitchen as deetjen's as i can...john and i just love that "cozy...wood buring fireplace house filled with books look."

    there used to be an old dog that lived there about 30 years ago named WRINKLENOSE. we just loved that old guy :-)

    hope chuck's leg is o.k.
    and Happy anniversary. john and i celebrate our 30 year anniversary on the 30th of january. we were going to go to tahoe and san francisco...but we canceled...we want to be with TEDDY !!!!!!

    happy to visit here today, my friend

    sending love
    kary and teddy

  21. Goodness, what a beautiful and nostalgic and romantic weekend. I'm so glad the weather cooperated. Your photos are captivating! Wow, I never knew about lighthouse prisms. Fascinating! I'm glad Chuck's leg is healing. Wooo, that will be a nice war wound to show people later.

    A few years ago, we stayed at the Treebones resort. Very cool in those giant yurts, but also very chilly. And I remember those elephant seals! Stinky, but so awesome to watch.


  22. Thank you for taking us along. Beautiful and serene place.
    Happy Anniversary!

  23. Oh wow.

    Happy anniversary.

    Those pictures are adorable

  24. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful anniversary get-away with us! It's so nice to travel to such great places through your photos and words! Happy Belated Anniversary and hope Chuck's injured leg heals very quickly!

  25. janis, thank you so much for your wishes, we both really appreciate them!

    * * *

    geli, i wish we could too! but i'll do my best to answer your questions here...
    Chuck and a sharp boulder met
    raspberrycremecheese stuffed french toast with whipped creme and maple syrup!
    the mouse lives in granpas room!
    and yes, redwoods(these were the smaller ones) are amazing!
    i always knew about deetjen's but never noticed the norwegian part until now. i could have stayed in the forest knitting all day!

    * * *

    robyn, thank you for all your kind words, gosh! Chuck was on a bit of a difficult trail with a lot of boulders. luckily it wasn't as bad as it could have been.
    and yes! finally we got to go!

    * * *

    mim, i'm just glad i didn't see him get hurt. sounds like you have some good big sur memories too!

    * * *

    gen, i think you'd love it.

    * * *

    silke, thanks! chuck is healing so quickly! thats cool you and daniel spent time in big sur, i'm sure you have great memories of it.

    * * *

    manon, i really hope you do get a chance to get there, there is so much to enjoy, it's an incredibly beautiful section of the california coast. and thank you so much!

  26. julie, thank you so much for such a lovely compliment. it is true, it one of the most beautiful places on earth. and we are so lucky to live fairly close by (you even closer). :)

    * * *

    annie, i love cambria, how lucky you were to have lived there! i hope someday you'll get to big sur, i think you would love it. chuck was cut on a boulder navigating a trail. i think it was a very sharp one!

    * * *

    jennifer, i hope you do too. maybe you can coordinate a show out here, business and pleasure! and thank you very much. :)

    * * *

    kj, aw thanks so much. i appreciate all of your words and you know i am really glad you enjoyed, and yes indeed it sounds as if it was a memorable weekend all the way around, yours and mine.

    * * *

    janet, thanks thanks thanks! i'm so happy with my new camera and looking forward to learning a lot more about it.

    * * *

    sharon, i always think i want to plant cecile brunner roses after visting deetjens, i love the way they look climbing over the redwood, so pretty! we love it there and feel so much at home (even though our home looks nothing like it)! thank you :)

    * * *

    michele, chuck laughed out loud when he read your comment. funny, his choice was pink or blue! thank you so much for the kind words.

  27. family affairs, thank you so much, i really appreciate you coming by and leaving such kind words.

    * * *

    pam, thank you very much. Is there anything i can send you from here? something to help with the california missingness? my daughter misses mexican food, so she gets beans, tortillas and avocados in her care package!

    * * *

    helen, thank you! you know then how beautiful it is, i think you would find it the same, unchanged and charming.

    * * *

    anushka, thank you, i'm glad we've met too, i felt a kindred spiritness from the start. i hope you and your husband get a chance to experiance deetjens and or big sur. i'm sure you would love knitting your way around there too!

    * * *

    lo, oh these photos must bring back so many memories for you. this was in your backyard! i love all those places too (cafe kevah was closed for renovations) ah well, we'll have to go back.
    hannah finally bought some warm winter(snow) boots! she loves it!

    * * *

    kary, oh i would love to make our home deetjen like too. sounds like you have many many memories of the big sur inn. it's great isn't it?

    * * *

    natalie, thank you ♥

    * * *

    bella, thanks :) we've thought of staying at treebones, i love the yurts. i'm glad you've got special memories of big sur and the central coast too. the elephant seals were especially stinky last weekend!

    * * *

    3 years housewife, thank you!

    * * *

    sammi, aw thanks!

    * * *

    nan, thank you so much, i do hope chuck heals quickly too, he is too active for this!

  28. Hi Lori,

    I've been following your blog faithfully for 1.5 years. I hardly ever comment but I just want you to know that I really enjoy your beautiful photography and the wonderful perspective you have on life.

    The photos in this post are so wonderful. I feel like I took a California vacation with you.

    Andrea Nichols

  29. Happy belated anniversary to you and Chuck. So sorry about his leg injury!! Wish him a fast recovery from me.

    On a side note: I'm so sorry we were not able to hook up during my fast and furious 4 days in California. I knew it was going to be madness, so I didn't even mention I was coming. The top part of the trip proved to be quite daunting, but it was great to connect with my American family and see that MrE maintains his title of Tiny Travel Trooper Extraordinaire.

    Your photos and descriptions of Big Sur made me incredibly homesick for those enchanted lands and for you. I MISS YOU!!!

    But among my resolutions, I have sworn that I am coming back and for a longer stretch next time. Still trying to figure out the money, but working hard at loving self and smiling thru hardships.

    You look wonderful and happy. Always my inspiration, mermaid.

    Lola xx

  30. Happy Anniversary, Lori and Chuck!
    Love your photos! Big Sur looks like a magical place, reminds me of the Ttsitsikamma Forest - Big Sur with is giant Redwoods, teh Tsitsikamma with its giant Yellowwoods!
    Hope Chuck's leg is healing well!

  31. Your pictures have me day dreaming!! :-)

  32. ahh wonderful....sigh.... hope Chucks leg is healing well? what happened?? those elephant seals are outrageous! and the banana slug hehe

    happy anniversary to you both


  33. Andrea, thank you so much! I really appreciate all your kindness, and I'm really glad you are here. Xoxo

    * * *

    Shepard, thank you!

    * * *

    Lola, xoxoxo, miss you too!

    * * *

    Nicky, I'd love to see that forest! Thank you for the kind words, so nice of you!

    * * *

    Ida, the forest has a way of doing that!

    * * *

    Val, it was a great trip, you would love Big Sur , it's a peaceful, beautiful, spiritual place. Thank you for the wishes.

  34. Expect for those stitches it seems like heaven! What a beautiful weekend for the 2 of you!
    Lovely pictures what a Romantic Inn!
    Congrats on your new camera, you were already taking such perfect shots, now what will happen next!!!!!

    Happy anniversary to you and your husband hope he recovers as the wind!



xoxo lori