Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Big Sur Coast

California's Big Sur Coast is touted as one of the world's top driving tours according to National Geographic.   This rugged and picturesque narrow two-lane road, often in a state of disrepair or construction, twists and turns, suspended precariously over deep chasms, held in place by viaducts and threatened by landslides.  CA Route One turns northwest at San Luis Obispo and continues on to Monterey, about 150 miles more or less.


Driving thru San Simeon, home of Hearst Castle


Taken from the Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd. in the jeep

Landslides are a frequent occurrence


Driving a wide, high profile vehicle towing a car takes patience and dexterity.  Ever aware of cars stacking up behind us we pull over at every wide spot in the road to let them pass.  This allows yours truly many photo ops or "drive-by shootings" as I call them.


Reinforcements

A look over the side

Lunch with a view


There are a few choices for camping along the way and as luck would have it we found a beautiful site at Plaskett Creek Campground in the Los Padres Nat'l Forest where we stayed two nights, allowing a full day for exploring in the jeep.


The satellite works but alas, no phone or internet


While walking on the beach in Pismo I met a really nice couple and as we walked along together exchanging stories and I told them of our plans to do this drive, they suggested we take the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, which traverses the Santa Lucia Mts., through the Fort Hunter Liggett military base, to the beautiful old Mission San Antonio de Padua.  It takes about two hours to go 20 miles, with a 3000' elevation climb in the first eight!


At Mission San Antonio de Padua


I loved this door!


The following day we continued on to Monterey, through major bridge re-construction.  At this point I have to say I have no idea how Howard threads through these narrow passages with nary a scrape or wounded traffic cone!  Even the Caltrans workers were impressed!  But on we went with yet more beautiful scenery, and gorgeous old bridges shot through a dirty windshield.


How does Howard drive thru this?

Sometimes fog enhances the beauty

Big Creek Bridge, 1932

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