I used my saved Labor Day holiday from work two days ago to take a solo road trip three hours south along highway 1, or the Pacific Coast Highway, to Morro Bay, California. Morro Bay was a randomly chosen destination based on its distance, and while it provided a great beach to read and nap on for an afternoon and some good Mexican food, the highlight of the trip was driving through Big Sur -- how clear of a day it was, how few people were there, the incredibly beauty of the entire region, and the enjoyment of taking an adventure on my own and the time to think, absorb the quiet, and admire the views it brought.
Big Sur is one of the most undeveloped and rugged stretches of coastline in the world, and is described as the longest, most uninhabited, and scenic in the U.S. The Santa Lucia mountains are in such close proximity to the coast, or rise up from the ocean. It occurred to me while driving how I'd never seen so much empty ocean, there was never a boat or person in the water. It was the largest stretch of sea I can ever recall seeing that appears so natural and empty. The shades of blue stretched on forever.
The golden cattails lined both sides of the highway and when hit by the sun, they were so, so gorgeous.
I'd seen parts of Big Sur before, but there was always a bit of wildfire smoke or fog in the evening, and I'd never gone very far south in the region.
A hummingbird and gecko were spotted.
Two and a half hours south of Monterey Bay where the trip began, the scenery flattened. It still looked like California, but the mountains and dramatic coastal landscape disappeared. In the small coastal town of Cayucos, one town north of Morro Bay, I found a beach with a few sunbathers. Forgetting my own sunscreen, I pulled on a long sleeve shirt and read until my eyes grew heavy and I fell asleep.
Cayucos and Morro Bay, California