California Coast from Monterey to Big Sur

After our very soggy stay in Morro Bay we continued our trek up to Monterey. Knowing we’d be covering Highway 1 in Zippy (tow car), we opted to take The Beast around via Hwy 101… for a few reasons. Although it’s longer, it’s quicker AND safer in a big rig. In addition, because Hwy 1 follows right along the windy shore lines, usually on high rocky bluffs over the ocean, and it’s narrow. There’s no safe way to keep up with the speed limit, which only frustrates those who have to follow, and there are few opportunities to pull 50+ feet of metal off the road to let them pass. Especially on the northbound side. I know, because I’ve done the entire length of Hwy. It’s exhausting!

In Monterey we were able to camp at yet another military campground, Monterey Pines RV park, very near where John went to Coast Guard Officer Candidate School. Now it was HIS turn to show me around his old stomping grounds (as I had done in Santa Barbara).

Unfortunately we were having problems with the large slide on The Beast… the one that runs almost the entire length of the rig. It was a problem beyond our capabilities (especially with our somewhat limited collection of tools), so we had to call in a mobile technician to take a look. While John waited, he sent me off to the shoreline with my cameras. ?

I’ve been in Monterey numerous times, and in fact did my SCUBA check-out dive here in the bay back in the 80’s.  It’s a gorgeous area, no doubt. So… off I went to Pacific Grove and spent an hour or so shooting crashing waves and sunset between there and Pebble Beach.

Monterey, California, USA

Rocky shoreline and crashing waves, Pacific Grove

Monterey, California, USA

Pacific Grove shoreline

Monterey, California, USA

Light shines through a breaking wave, Pacific Grove

Monterey, California, USA

Sun setting at Pacific Grove

Monterey, California, USA

Breaking waves, Pacific Grove

Monterey, California, USA

Sunset skims breaking waves at Pacific Grove

Monterey, California, USA

Waves on rocky shoreline at Pacific Grove

Monterey, California, USA

Waves, Pacific Grove

Monterey, California, USA

Crashing waves at Pacific Grove

Monterey, California, USA

Pacific Grove Sunset

The following morning we headed out to trek back down the coast on Highway 1 to Big Sur and beyond. Our first stop was Carmel Mission Basilica. There was a funeral service going on, so we couldn’t go in, but we quietly walked around outside for a bit and chatted with one of their staff. She pointed out that their Century Plant (Agave) was in bloom, which apparently happens only once in the plants lifetime. That would make it a very rare occurrence.

Carmel, California, USA

Century Plant in front of Carmel Mission Basilica

Carmel, California, USA

Carmel Mission Basilica

Carmel, California, USA

Tree shadows dancing on wall and window at Carmel Mission Basilica

We stopped frequently at scenic view-points along the way. This part of the California coast is incredibly beautiful, with its rocky shores, coves, caves, arches and occasional waterfalls. Sadly we were too early for the blooming poppies, and I understand it was a banner blooming year from the desert to the coast… everywhere we had been only weeks prior!

near Big Sur, USA

California Coastline

California, USA

California Coast near Big Sur

 

One of our stops was the infamous Bixby Creek Bridge. Here we were able to fly the drone for an angle I’ve not been able to achieve in the past.

Highway 1, California, USA

Bixby Creek Bridge

Highway 1, California, USA

Bixby Creek Bridge from DJI Mavic Pro2

Fran Reisner, Journey In Focus

Drone selfie 🙂

One of my favorite stops in the Big Sur area is Julie Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and this delightful cove and waterfall. The park was actually closed due to trail damage, which was disappointing since John had never been there. But… because we weren’t in the park we were able to fly the drone from a pullout along the highway. The first three images below are shot with my camera, and the following five are from the drone. It’s great to get a new perspective from above, and from over the water looking back toward the shore.

Highway 1, California, USA

Cave on shoreline, near Pfeiffer State Park

Highway 1, California, USA

Waterfall at Pfeiffer Beach

Highway 1, California, USA

Rocked topped with Cormorant of shore of Pfeiffer Beach

 

Highway 1, California, USA

Same cormorant covered rock from DJI Mavic Pro2

Highway 1, California, USA

Waterfall at Pfeiffer Beach

Highway 1, California, USA

Waterfall and shoreline at Pfeiffer Beach

Highway 1, California, USA

Surging water through the rocky shoreline at Pfeiffer Beach

Highway 1, California, USA

Rocky coastline near Big Sur

 

Farther down the coast is another bridge, similar to Bixby Creek Bridge, but where Bixby has one arch, this one has two…

California, USA

Double Bridge, Highway 1

Highway 1, California, USA

Turkey Vulture gliding by

Highway 1, California, USA

California coast

Highway 1, California, USA

California  shoreline

That wraps up our time between Monterey and Big Sur. The following morning we rolled once again… just up the highway to Santa Cruz. Up next!

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