15 Jul Big Sur beauty
Big Sur Big Sur Big Sur. The name rings like rolling waves. It’s a spine of rock clinging to the edge of the continent. It’s impossibly beautiful.
The only way to go is Highway 1, a two-lane road cut into the Santa Lucia Mountains. Sometimes there is traffic, and it’s a long day trip from San Francisco. In places, the road succumbs to gravity and disappears into the roiling ocean below – you hope this doesn’t happen while you’re there. The landscape is harsh, magical. You think about never leaving.
Along the way, stop in Davenport for a bear claw; it’ll be the best one you ever eat. There’s only one café in this tiny surf town, so you won’t have trouble finding your way. The coffee is also really good. You’ll think about never leaving.
Pack a picnic lunch and go to Pfeiffer Beach. Take the dog too. The road to the beach is unmarked – you might drive by it once, twice, or maybe three times before you see the turn. Down the hill and hidden from the main road, there’s a sign that lets you know you’re not lost. Maybe they don’t really want you to find the beach; they’d rather not share. It has the feeling of a badly kept secret.
At the end of the road, an old hippie in the guise of a park warden takes your $5 and tells you things about the way it is. The beach is sandy and windy and sunny. You might get sunburned, but you won’t notice ‘til much later.
Follow the path along the beach. Stay to the right, past the doorway in the rock where the ocean comes through. Find a hidden sandy cove sheltered from the wind, and spread your blanket, if you brought one. Eat your lunch. Watch the waves roll and break against the rocks. Dig your toes into the sand. Think about never leaving.