Wednesday, April 9, 2014

California Pacific Coast Highway 1

 For as long as I remember, I have wanted to drive along the California coast on Highway 1.  The drive along the Central California coast did not disappoint. The hair pin turns, steep cliffs and wild blue waves breaking on the black rock below often long pauses where words would add nothing.

Just north of the Hearst Castle, nice digs by the way, is the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. Hunted nearly to extinction for their oil-rich blubber, elephant seals have made a remarkable comeback. You can see them swimming in the waves all along the coast.  They are not small animals, guess that is why they call them elephant seals, eh?

For about the next 90 miles, the road winds and hugs the cliffs of Big Sur, passing various coastal parks in the area. Turn after turn, each breath taking view is more beautiful than the last.  When the road does leave the coast for a few miles and goes through a redwood forest in the Big Sur River valley.   A MUST for anyone who  has not experienced this ride, I would highly recommend it.  It would be great on a motorcycle.

Carmel is a seaside village for the rich and famous, and those who would like to be.  Beach houses in the oceanfront town are close together and modest, cute shops and trendy little restaurants line the main street of downtown.  Just what a Brad wanted after a day of wine tasting.   The fog rolled in so that you could see the beach and the breakers, but little else.  We sat in the sand and watched the dogs play just the same.

Our room reservation was at a place billed as, a quaint, romantic little inn.  Well they had the little, right and if quaint means thin walls they got that right too—just a little too romance in the suite next door for us so we moved ourselves down the road to the Mission Inn.    Really funny, now thinking back; however, that audio clip is burned into my memory.   We settle in to our new place for a quiet nights rest.  The forecast is for even more fog tomorrow so it is time for Plan B!   

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