The central California coast is a bit of a mystery. Frequently foggy, the 120 miles that stretch from Carmel to Cambria are perhaps North America's finest coastline. But unless you take a full day of driving 40 mph, you'll never see it. And even if you drive it, weather often conspires to hide parts of it. This video is a collection of images spanning 3 years of occasional visits, a chance to gather my thoughts in one place.
The opening image is from a day that was cut short by a forest fire that oozed black smoke 80 miles northward, blocking the sun and lowering afternoon temperatures. The last image was made on a night visit to Pfeiffer Beach. The moonless night made it impossible to see the advancing surf. Fluctuating waves crashed through the rocks and up the sand past the mean tide line. I lost my nerve and backed out, bowing to the power of the tide.
Don't believe guidebooks that show lots of serene, sunny photos. Big Sur is raw, moody and powerful. Its essence is the unbroken power of nature, not predictability or intimacy. Be grateful for what we experience, and try again another day for a new adventure. That's what I've learned so far.