Big Sur Journals

Harmonic Conversion in Big Sur

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An October 2003 trip to Big Sur by smmmarti guide

Map of Big Sur Photo, Big Sur, California More Photos
Quote: From raging ocean crashes to startling mountain vistas, through high chaparral, scented eucalyptus and ancient redwood forests, this section of coastal wilderness affords more concentrated and glorious spectacles than should be reasonably allocated any singular county. Birds of prey, sea lions, otters, and whales apparently love it, as well.

Harmonic Conversion in Big Sur

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Overview

Map of Big Sur Photo, Big Sur, California
Quote:
Big Sur rumbles. It’s not a city or a particular destination but rather the stretch of wilderness from Point Lobos to San Luis Obispo, that includes approximately 100 miles of the most scenic highway in the world. The road, built over the span of ten years at a cost of , opened in June, 1937, as the result of an ambitious Public Works project. Highway One, known the world over for its famous scenery, scales towering cliffs, traverses deep canyons and meanders along a wild seacoast flanked by the Santa Lucia mountains. The area it...Read More

Nepenthe

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Restaurant | "Cafe Kevah at Nepenthe"

Nepenthe Photo, Big Sur, California
Quote:
"Never let the truth get in the way of a good story..." Bill Fassett The founder of Nepenthe obviously knows how to please a crowd. Since 1949 this iconoclastic dining facility perched on a breathtaking vantage point with some of Big Sur’s best views, has continued to lure legions of travelers, bohemians, celebrities and vagabonds and enthrall them with not only prime vistas but also delicious, home-style food and devil-may-care, self-induced entertainment. Like dancing under the stars beside a roaring fire. How primal! How perfectly suited to Big Sur. In Greek, Nepenthe means "isle of no care," a place to f...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 17, 2003

Nepenthe
Highway 1
Big Sur, California 93920
(831) 667-2345

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

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Attraction | "Big Sur: For Everything Else There is Mastercard"

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Photo, Big Sur, California
Quote:
The aim of life is to live, … to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. - Henry Miller At sunset, over a glass of locally-crafted Chardonnay in the ultra-romantic setting of the Highland Inn’s treetop overlook, my husband made the nearly-tragic mistake of revealing he’d been here before. Quick on my feet, (familiar with such things), I popped the obvious question. "But have you been to Big Sur?" I knew he hadn’t. During former visits he’d focused on golf, but during this visit he’d not even mentioned it; hadn’t gazed wistfully in the direction of famed Pebble Beach even once. As that was then,...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 16, 2003

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
47225 Highway 1
Big Sur, California 93920
(831) 667-2315

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

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Attraction | "Big Sur: The Oddballs Who Made it Happen"

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Photo, Big Sur, California
Quote:
The dawn is breaking on a new world, a jungle world in which the lean spirits roam with sharp claws. … I am a lean and hungry one: I go forth to fatten myself. - Henry Miller They may appear odd and eccentric by some standards, but isn’t everyone who looks beyond the "nightmare of air conditioning," (as Henry Miller identified modern life)? The few, stalwart, blessed residents of Big Sur are typically as quirky as the landscape, seeming to be at once the recipients of wisdom as ancient as the granite cliffs yet as naïve and zealous as the relatively new-born Santa Lucia range. Since moving to Maui I’ve taken to unconsciously bracing myself against the crush of civilization when ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 16, 2003

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
47225 Highway 1
Big Sur, California 93920
(831) 667-2315

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

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Attraction | "Big Sur: The Voluptuousness of Restlessness"

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Photo, Big Sur, California
Quote:
This phrase from Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer applies to something other than Big Sur, but it’s easy to see where the author drew his inspiration as it as aptly applies to the physical wonders of the area he called "home" as it does to the changing forces in man’s psyche. Throughout Big Sur, the restlessness goes on, voluptuous as ever, moving with the same energy and force as always, yet under the time-scaled observations of mere mortals it appears steadfast. I’m not certain how the image of mountains came to represent stability and fortitude, for they are among the most dynamic of the earth’s features. Then again, compared with the changing tides, the falling leaves, the lifespan of...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 16, 2003

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
47225 Highway 1
Big Sur, California 93920
(831) 667-2315

Hearst Castle

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Attraction | "An Un-Visit to Hearst Castle"

Hearst Castle Photo, San Simeon, California
Quote:
Passion and good judgment are horrible bedfellows. Just after we’d risen beyond the crest of the Santa Lucia mountains framing the Big Sur coastline, thrilled to pieces with our surroundings, we’d seen the sign. Like a drunken sot who doesn’t realize he’s had enough, I asked for a double by agreeing to continue the route sixty additional miles to the Hearst Castle. After all, it had been such a glorious morning, and the afternoon still sprawled out before us, resonating like the lingering chord of an ode to freedom. Isn’t spontaneity the hallmark of a great road trip? From there the mileage signs ticked off slowly. Maybe I was coming down from the Big Sur high now, because H...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 16, 2003

Hearst Castle
750 Hearst Castle Road
San Simeon, California 93452
(805) 927-2020

Big Sur: The Conversion

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Story/Tip

A view looking north from Southern approach Photo, Big Sur, California
Quote:
Even if everything I say is prejudiced, spiteful, malevolent, even if I am a liar and a poisoner, it is nevertheless the truth and it will have to be swallowed. - Henry Miller Perhaps I had it wrong about Californians. Before my recent visit to Monterey Peninsula, my views of the great state of trends and image-makers were slanted. I had seen California as a necessary evil, like the instigative Mothers of Invention who send the world trend after meaningless trend yet who sometimes, in the midst of the nonsense, also hit upon an enduring and substantial discovery--the value of fitness, the cure for AIDS, the protection of endangered species, and Farm Aid. ...Read More