I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again here. I’m drawn to driving next to bodies of water. If you look back at my route through the states it’s clear that I gravitate to river banks, lake shores, and ocean coastlines.
I’ve come up with a few reasons for this tendency.
For one thing, I don’t have a great internal compass so keeping the water in sight and by my side quiets my nagging concerns of veering off course. But more significantly, the areas where land and water meet are interesting to look at. Wildlife is denser near water. Landscapes are made more entertaining by water. Water puts on a show, and while driving through Big Sur (wiki) last Friday (12/11/15) I witnessed the performance of my lifetime.
As I mentioned in my last post, the night I spent at Kirk Creek Campground was stormy. The next morning I woke up to the sound of pounding waves like I’d never heard before. I walked down the Kirk Creek beach trail to get a closer look.
The waves marched in from a northwest at an angle to the coastline. They pummeled each rock outcropping in succession from right to left, and each thud pulsed through the ground. The surges threw boulders up on shore only to drag them back over each other. Twice I swung my umbrella down in front of me to keep from being splashed. For 45 minutes I knelt on those bluffs, leaning into my umbrella, going through cycles hysterics and humility, godsmacked.
The drive north continued to be an adventure. Clouds obscured the mountain tops and sheets of rain reduced visibility down the coast. A few small rockslides had yet to be cleared from the road. Closer to noon the weather started to clear up, and I found a great place to set up my camera.
I had no idea that the biggest swell of the season was going to coincide with my drive through what’s arguably the most scenic section of California coastline.
I remember feeling extraordinarily grateful walking back up to the road.