With views hazy from the ocean spray and the Californian sunshine, everything in Big Sur seemed more dreamlike than it already is. Winding and steep at times, Highway 1 was by far the most scenic drive I’ve ever been on (kudos to Dad behind the wheel); and we made frequent pauses along the side of the road to take it all in. Mile after mile, the scenery didn’t get old. Those massive waves crashing over huge, jagged rocks like they’re just little pebbles that stand between them and shore – it’s the kind of scene that reminds you just how powerful nature is. Even from way up above on the bluffs, the swirling ocean looks like billowing clouds before a storm (under the least threatening cloudless blue sky). It’s a dangerous kind of beauty.
“So that later when I heard people say “Oh Big Sur must be beautiful!” I gulp to wonder why it has the reputation of being beautiful above and beyond its fearfulness, its Blakean groaning rough-rock Creation throes, those vistas when you drive the coast highway on a sunny opening up the eye for miles of horrible washing sawing.” –Big Sur, Jack Kerouac
We parked on the side of the highway and walked down to Pfeiffer Beach where we stayed long enough to notice the tide starting to work its way up the sand (and for Thomas to almost have his shoes stolen by the sea). A “door” that was carved out in one of the large rocks made for mesmerizing wave-watching. We watched the sunset by a beach teeming with noisy elephant seals, and spent the night in the charming seaside town of Cambria, where they are enthusiastically decorated for their annual scarecrow festival (which made for some creepy silhouettes in the dark).After a family dinner in town with a bottle of local Zinfandel, and falling asleep to the sounds of the ocean, I think it’s safe to say that Highway 1 drove straight into my heart (too corny?). Here’s to hoping for future drives along this highway — anyone want to co-pilot?
Soundtrack: Joni Mitchell