Springs Eternal…Squid rarely turns up the heater in the lair, partly because Squid's cephalopod body is designed to withstand very low water temperatures, and partly because it's Squid's little way of keeping the bills low, and thereby doubling for Squid as a form of minor protest against Pacific Gas & Electric. Vote with your dollars, as they say.
So the recent chilly weather had Squid daydreaming about the old days, when Squid would do a thing Squid does only very rarely—that is, exert Squidself—to hike from Big Sur Station along the Pine Ridge Trail about 10 miles to Sykes Hot Springs. The only reason Squid would be motivated to put that many miles on Squid's tentacles is because there were soaking tubs at the destination, lovely warm pools along the river.
That trail has been closed since the Soberanes Fire of 2016 then extreme rain in 2017 damaged the region, taking out trees (not to mention stretches of trail) in mudslides. Squid has been happy to see Big Sur trails slowly reopening so people (and occasional cephalopods) can access the wild places that define the Monterey County coast, even if many of those places are altered; take Andrew Molera State Park, for instance, where much of the park is open but some trails remain closed, or Garrapata State Park, where there's abundant evidence of the Soberanes Fire's origin point, but substantial stretches of trail have reopened.
So Squid was pleased to hear the news that the U.S. Forest Service expects the Pine Ridge Trail to reopen as early as this summer. But Squid was a little puzzled and a little sad to read that the tubs that made the hot springs accessible aren't coming back.
Part of the logic there is that many Big Sur trails are overused, and by taking away the thing that makes Sykes a desirable destination, the trail will get less use.
But to Squid, that's also the problem with the plan, which is really just a way of throwing in the towel. Take away the thing that makes people want to participate in a form of recreation, so there will be less recreation—is that really the best we can do?
The absence of soaking tubs will sure keep Squid away; without the ability to rest Squid's sore limbs, there's no way Squid could make the hike back out. Maybe Squid will have to settle for a hot toddy on the couch with a blanket (remember, no heater) and watching nature documentaries on TV. If we end up trading recreation for TV couch time, Squid thinks that's probably not a success for champions of outdoor recreation.