Sunday, June 28, 2009

Observations along the way

As we were driving out of Santa Monica, CA, heading up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH to the locals), we noticed huge (really enormous) motor homes parked along the coastal road. To be sure, they were in designated parking slots - in fact, the state provides a sort of 'parking meter' for the weeks and months the leviathans on wheels sit there - but there were so many it was impossible for us to pull over to park even for a moment to take a picture. It was the beginning of my now-developed skill of shooting anything and everything through the sunroof. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see them stretching out along the entire beachfront. Further up the road, they park at an angle to allow more of them to fit in the alloted space - astonishing!
There were portions of the drive north that took us inland slightly where we saw lots of the commercial farms either being harvested or re-seeded for the next crop. It was a reminder of how dependent we are on the farmers and the workers to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to our tables. We often stopped at local farm stands to get fresh strawberries, raspberries or blueberries. And you could still taste the sunshine on some of those delicious fruits!!

One of our stops/rest breaks was at a long pier which was built in the 1870's and is still stretching out into the Pacific today. The planks are grey with age, but their 12-inch width and estimated 3-inch depth make for a sturdy walkway. It seemed like it was over 1000 feet long, but we didn't measure it. But when we got out to the very end, the heavy gusts of wind made the platform jiggle - somewhat unnerving.
We also saw hundreds of bikers, both motorcycle and pedal-type, navigating the twisty road even during the middle of the week. And some of the elevations of those narrow roadways must have made the rides pretty interesting for everyone. On our first day of driving we had the pleasure of warmth and sunshine, but as we inched our
way toward Big Sur, the air got cooler and of course the sun went down. Then it was really exciting trying to drive on an unfamiliar road without any lights (not even the moon!) knowing that on one side there was the potential for rockslides, and on the other side there was a chance to slide 200 feet down to the ocean! This was one of our last shots of the day.... and the one without the tree was truly the last one...

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