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Return to Big Sur

Big Sur

I love Big Sur, that rugged stretch of isolated coastline on Highway 1 between Carmel and San Simeon. There is only one east-west road (the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road) that connects to Highway 1 in Big Sur, and the eastern end of it is behind a military checkpoint in Fort Hunter-Liggett on the Mission Road to Mission San Antonio.

Today I traveled south on Highway 1 to Big Sur. Passing the street to Mission Carmel, I continued on past all of the people parked on Highway 1 who were willing to walk another mile to the Point Lobos State Reserve, rather than pay a $9 entrance fee, which supports the Reserve.

I continued across the bridge over Malpaso Creek, thinking of the “Malpaso Productions” that produced Dirty Harry films, wondering if Clint Eastwood still lived in the neighborhood, and if so, where.

I  continued across the bridges over Granite Canyon and Rocky Creek, stopping only twice to take photographs before stopping at the most famous of the bridges, the Bixby Bridge. How many car commercials have been made at the Bixby Bridge?

After taking photos from both sides of the Bixby Bridge, and from one end, I continued to an overlook that allows a wonderful view back northward, including a view of the Bixby Bridge. Today, however, there was no fog, except for wisps of fog at Point Sur itself.

Along the way, I saw a house for sale. The house was midway between Highway 1 and the Pacific Ocean, halfway down the cliff. I fantasized for a minute that Wonko the Sane had put his house on the market, and wondered how many million dollars he was asking for the property (yes, housing prices are outrageous in California, especially those with ocean views).

I took some photos of the mouth of the Little Sur River and the lagoon and sand dunes. I stopped to take yet more photos of Point Sur (sure, I stopped earlier, too :-) ) and the lighthouse, and when I got close to Point Sur, I met a couple from Italy! They were on vacation from their work in Rome. He was originally from Northern Italy, near Venice. Of course, I gave them my card! :-) They will visit the Bay Area tomorrow and travel to Yosemite afterward. I wished them a wonderful vacation in the United States and a great time in California. I invited them to tell their friends to visit California.

I knew that I would not continue all of the way to San Simeon (home of Hearst Castle and elephant seals) and Cambria today, so I decided to continue to McWay Falls, photograph the waterfall and retrace my route.

At McWay Falls, I met another couple, American this time. The gentleman had seen a California Condor in flight at Big Sur earlier, perhaps after a release. He was excited about the experience, and with good reason. The California Condor is one of the world’s rarest birds. Numbering only 22 in 1987 and bred in captivity, there were 273 individuals in 2005, 127 in the wild.

As I write this, I am downloading all of the photographs. The day was overcast with a diffuse light – wonderful. There was almost no fog – rare. The day was warm for November, roughly 65-70 ℉. The air was extraordinarily clear. I am eager to begin processing the shots and will have them on the site as soon as I can. (Done.)

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®.

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