Thursday, August 4, 2011

Monterey Trip: Pt. 4 Finale

Okay,'s the big finish to my series. We end with a day trip along the BIG SUR COAST!! I'm posting a lot of photos in this batch, because there were just too many amazing things to see.

My daughter, Jenni, and her beau, Brad, drove down from South Lake Tahoe to join me for the day. We started the morning in Monterey (at Coco's for breakfast, of course), then stopped in Pacific Grove for these shots. After that we headed south on California's Highway 1!

Visibility was limited for much of the drive...lots of fog. As we climbed the elevating terrain, it became a bit spooky on the curvy highway. ("Dad, keep your eyes on the road!!") It was hard to tell where the Pacific Ocean was...only a few places to pull over and look out, like the spot below.
I stopped because the view opened up to the beautiful vista you see here. This is a collage made from three photos. The native wildflowers were pretty, as was the little barn on the other side of the road (again...a collage of two photos).
Before too much longer, we came to this view. Disregarding the "private property" sign by the clay banks, we scampered up to quickly get a few photos. Awesome colors in the water!
I borrowed one of Jenni's photos (below left) of me taking a picture of the ledge we were standing on (my shot on the right). Brad had pointed out that it was really eroding golly, he was right!
Here is another glorious view a bit farther down the coast. It was so cool to be above the purple clouds that hovered across the waters.
Eagle-eye Brad noticed way, way, way down below that there were two tiny little dots in the water...SURFERS! I have circled where they are and enlarged them a bit...even still, I can hardly see them. Dang tri-focals!!
This next image is one of my favorites of the whole took my breath away being there. Even Brad, who has done a lot of traveling all over the world to climb boulders and cliffs, said that he had never seen anything like it. Good Old U.S.A! We live in a wonderful country...I want to see more of it!
Now we move to a new location which was at the half-way mark of our journey before heading back. I had seen images of this place on the web, and really wanted to go there. So glad we did. It is the McWay Falls, at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Before we got to the actual waterfall, we explored some of the trails that split off in different directions. Below is a composite of two photos showing Brad standing by the dangerous terrain off the main trail (as the signs try to explain to folks like us).
There were lots of wonderful trees along the paths...ancient and weathered.
We found out that there is no access to the beach allowed...tourists would make a mess of it in no time. But it was SO inviting looking down there. At the bottom of this image, hidden in the foliage, is the creek that pours water out onto the beach. So we began the long trek to the far side of the cliffs on the right, to get the best view.
Behold! McWay Falls! (I know...not huge...but in a great location!)
Jenni and I are both laughing (nervously). Notice that she is touching my shoulder, as my hand steadies me on the railing. I had just gotten a little woozy at those heights. Taking a tumble was NOT on my agenda for the day! (Though I really did want to get down to the beach...just not THAT way.)
Getting close to the end now, folks. On the way back to Monterey, we found the unmarked, one lane road (with a little help from the tourist guide info) that took us to Big Sur's most popular coastal access point...the U.S. Forest Service's Pfeiffer Beach. Once you walk down the sandy pathway under the canopy of trees... opens onto this amazing beach, surrounded by towering cliffs!
One of the main attractions is this huge arch shaped rock formation. The water has blasted a perfect doorway through the stone. I've seen a photo of the rays of light during sunset glowing through the arch...magical.
Thought I'd try out the timer on my camera for this self-portrait. Jenni is walking up on the left.
Well, my friends, this marks the end of the trail. Hope you enjoyed the tour!


Anonymous said...

Great photos. Makes everyone want to see it before it falls off into the Pacific. Looked like a really fun and enjoyable trip.
Lil Bro

Anonymous said...

So wonderful...I can't imagine...thanks for taking me there in your photos....As always, it is too much for me to absorb...will have to come back several times to view them again. Don't be surprised to see a painting of one of them! mom

Christopher said...

Those are the most awesome pictures! Glad you got to take them and post them for us all to see!

Jim said...

Thanks for the great post! Those are some fantastic pics. Wow. There is some beautiful scenery in CA!