Cali Coast #3: Big Sur
Free of the L.A. area traffic, we descended from the mountains of our campground and settled on a picturesque location for breakfast. The Mission Santa Barbara rose garden seemed as good a place as any, so we took our granola and camp cups out onto the manicured lawn and ate among the flowers. Some very California-esque blonde ladies wafted over to us and asked us to take their picture with an iPad. I believe one actually jumped back a little when she looked down and saw us un-showered with our tin cups and plastic spoons. Yes, folks, we have arrived in California.
For the rest of the day we wound up and down and around the rocky coastline of central California on the way to Big Sur. I spent the first few hours just marveling at the size of the cliffs on the left side of the car (the very fact that the ocean was on my LEFT going north was disorienting), the feel of the cool air full of sea spray, and the dusty dry hills on my right, often scattered with grazing cows.
At the end of the day we pulled away from the winding coastal road to camp in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The redwoods rose up around the highway and we entered the park through a majestic canopy of old growth trees. I felt like we were in some giant outdoor cathedral as the afternoon light shot through in tiny beams. There waiting for us weary travelers was a wooden throne worthy of forest princesses. We set our bottle of wine in a shady spot to chill, pitched the tent, lit a fire and let our first evening in the Woods sink in.