The thought itself of driving from San Diego to San Francisco exhausted me. Of course, that all turned to excitement once we finally packed into our vehicles and hit the road. We shot north up the 101 and drove the long, windy roads of Nacimiento Canyon to get into Big Sur, due to the road closures on PCH. As we drove deeper along this route, we expectedly lost service and thus our music streaming privileges. Luckily, we had an old Lumineers CD, the raw and slow melodies of which seemed to soundtrack the drive quite perfectly. Having already had spent the past couple of hours catching up and discussing plans, we began to slow down ourselves. Words and laughter phased out, and we soon embraced the silence that clouded us, only to be interrupted by the occasional camera shutters.
Turn after turn, we sat patiently, both in awe of the unique forestry and in anticipation of the first ocean views. And when we finally broke through the tall trees, the cliffs that surrounded us, it felt like a never-felt-before breath of fresh air. Stunning—seeing the ocean in this way, dressed modestly in the marine layer, waves crashing both violently and elegantly against the rocky shores. The sun magnified the warm hues of the grasses (phragmites australis, as I later discovered) that blanketed the cliffs, and, in that moment, everything that was gold, even in the slightest, seemed to glisten. It was a magical beginning to a fun-filled trip. We set up camp on a ridge somewhere along the Pacific Valley and as darkness approached, the moon and stars arose shortly thereafter.
The next few days consisted of water that was not as cold as we had expected, lots of last-minute-pulling-off-the-road surf checks, pouring coffee out of a craftily split Coors can (which would later be coined “the Coors-over”), over 5000 calories of peanut butter (wish I was kidding), all documented on 7+ rolls of film and 3 minutes of Super 8 movie film.