Big Sur ~ July 12-13, 2003
Just got back from a beautiful weekend on the central California coast, aka Big Sur. Yeah, I'd
have to say it's the prettiest stretch of coast conceivable.

I went to Big Sur for a wedding... my previous boss, Paul, wed his soul mate, Holly. Their wedding
was beautiful, simple, and outdoors in the oaks near the cabin. Paul's family owns a cabin in Big
Sur, on a high headland overlooking the most rugged, beautiful cliffs and clear turquoise blue
ocean. It's breathtaking, to say the least. It was a small wedding, only about 30 folks. Small and

After the ceremony and reception, Paul and his friend Andrew played guitar on the deck and the
almost-full moon rose over the Santa Lucia Mountains and reflected off the ocean. They've been
playing guitar together for 23 years and used to have a band back in Virginia that opened for
some fairly well-known bands - Phish and Blues Traveler. Paul is the best guitar player I've ever
heard. It's hard to get him to play an actual song. He'd much rather just sit down and play...
improvise... make it up as he goes along. And that's what both of them did, just sat and played off
of each other for 10-20 minutes on end. It was fabulous.

Camped that night at Ventana Campground under the redwoods. Woke up to the redwoods. I
think my friend Lin said it best when she described the difference she felt between redwoods
and sequoias. Permit me to paraphrase, but she said something like, "In the redwoods, the
beautiful thing is their continuity, the combined effect of their beauty. With the sequoias, you
can't help but notice how each one stands out with its bulk and individual fire scars and rugged
branches. In the sequoias the beautiful thing is the trees individually." I thought of this as I
walked around the campground that morning. It's true. The coast redwoods awe us with their
combined presence.

Then I drove a bit north to Andrew Molera State Park and took a 2-mile trail down to the beach.
A lovely trail I had all to myself that morning, it followed the Big Sur river down to a white
curve of sand scattered with driftwood.

Then I drove south to Cambria... That drive from Monterey and Carmel south to San Simeon and
Cambria has got to be one of the most, if not the most, scenic I've ever been on. I did it when I
was very young and remembered parts of it. Now I know I'll have to go back. It's not all that
far away, 4-5 hours...

Then I crossed over to Paso Robles with its vineyards and golden hills dotted with green oak.
Then over into the very wide and impossibly flat San Joaquin Valley. Then up into the Sierran
foothills to home.
February 2004 trip to Big Sur
November 2005 trip to Big Sur
March 2008 trip to  Big Sur
Back to Photo Albums
Back to Tarol's Homepage
Ventana Wilderness Campground
Andrew Molera State Park
Jeanette, Shawn, Sandy, and I
decorated the newlywed's
car, complete with the hood
ornament which we dubbed
Jorge, hence the final job was
titled "Jorge and Lemons!"
Paul, Holly,
and Me - the
Almost full
moon rising
over the
Santa Lucia
What a view!
The Bixby
Bridge is
just visable
in the above
Big Sur Views...
Beautiful, clear,
turquoise blue water!
Jeanette and
Shawn pose
while eating
made Holly's
Walking his
down the