Wednesday, October 6, 2010

California's Highway 1

Big Sur was our destination for a picnic, so we left our RV in San Juan Bautista, taking highway 101 to 156 and its intersection with Highway 1.

This day's outing involved one of those drives in which the journey is possibly more important than the destination.

Just north of Monterey, we picked up Highway 1, which runs along some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, leading to its designation as an All-American Road.

Our drive began early enough that some of the coastline was still blanketed with fog. Since I am drawn to foggy scenes, I was drawn to these segments of the coast.

Along Highway 1, there are several vista points, and even though it was early in the morning and even though the summer tourist season was past, there were a number of other travelers at each of these turnouts.

Each of these vista points presented us with stunning views. And mighty sounds.

Even though we were some distance above the meeting place of mountain and ocean, the waves produced thunderous sounds as they crashed into the rocky shoreline.

As the fog lifted we were rewarded with even more impressive views of the ocean and its shoreline.

State construction of what is now Highway 1 started in 1919, and this particular segment that we were traveling was part of the section between San Simeon and Carmel that was built between 1919 and 1937.

The entire route is also designated as a Blue Star Memorial Highway to recognize those in the United States armed forces, but segments of the highway have been assigned several other names by the state and municipal governments.

For example, "Cabrillo Highway" is the name given to the section from San Luis Obispo north to San Francisco.

If we looked inland, we saw the effect of the morning sun on the plants on the hillside.

We arrived at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park with the hope of hiking to the 60-foot-high Pfeiffer Falls. However, the announcement from our feathered host was that the trail to the Falls was closed.

So, we took a break for lunch before taking a short hike through a small grove of redwoods

to this small creek. The sound of the water rushing over the rocks was enticing, but it just reminded us of the more powerful sounds of the ocean.

There was one more state park to visit that day--and it was right on the ocean. So we cut our stay here short and headed back up Highway 1.

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