18 July 2013

west coast postcard no. 2, big sur

Big Sur. What is there to say about Big Sur that hasn't already been said and written by the famous poets and writers? It is the most awe-inspiring, breathtaking environment I've ever visited. Beauty and wonder you find at the edge of the world and nowhere else. I am so glad we decided to include this stop in our trip. I felt as though we had won the lottery and discovered something no one else had ever discovered. That clearly isn't true, but what a powerful place to make someone feel that way, right? More about the yurts that we stayed in coming in the next post, because I couldn't figure out a way to edit down my gushing so that this wasn't a full-length memoir.

We rented a Prius (!) and drove down from San Francisco. Driving on Route 1 along the ragged, rugged Pacific coast was an experience in itself. I started out in the driver's seat because I wanted to crank bad pop music and was eager to test out the borrowed hybrid. Something funny happened on the drive, though. At one point, after an hour of white-knuckle driving on a windy, mostly guard rail-free road at the edge of a cliff, I had a little freak out. We were in construction traffic, at a complete standstill in the middle of a bridge, and I had a moment of panic. Almost paralyzing panic. About the height, the bridge, the rocky cliffs, everything. That's never happened to me before. Chris insisted on taking over the driving right then and there, but I was so panicked that I told him neither one of us was getting out of the car while we were on that bridge. I totally freaked out! I was overwhelmed from the intensity of Big Sur and tired from the hyper-attentive driving. I quietly, but surely, lost my cool. Once Chris eventually took over the wheel, I chilled out and just enjoyed the view with a fistful of chocolate animal crackers and my camera in hand.

One morning, we went for a winding trail run right along the coast at a place called Jade Cove. It was... you know, pretty fantastic. 

Big Sur. Where mountains meet the sea. Where adorable 1970s-era visitors centers and restaurants and rest areas line the route, welcoming car-tired families and rose-colored-glasses-wearing young married folks alike. Scary driving, but worth it.

On our drive back to SF, we stopped in the little paradise town of Carmel-by-the-Sea for an iced coffee and quick stroll. Unfortunately, we did not run into the town's past mayor, Mr. Clint Eastwood. Which is probably a good thing, because Chris would have totally freaked out and asked for a signed movie poster for The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

Next time, I'll tell you about the yurt we stayed in. Yes, I'm drawing this part of the trip out, but it's only because we loved it so very much. 

In case you missed it:
postcard no. 1, san francisco


  1. Is that a waterfall in the second photo?

    1. Good eye! It is the McWay Falls, one of the few the empties right into the ocean. http://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_mcwayfalls.html

  2. Totally enjoyable post! Seriously, have you thought about becoming a travel writer? Sounds like a good gig, seeing all these amazing places, writing your way across the world while being paid for it. Just a thought. What an awesome trip, and I really like the way you tell your story!


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