Monterey to Big Sur

Monterey Travel Blog

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Cheap real estate...
Starting early, I was out of Monterey and past the edge of Carmel well before nine and knocking on the door at Point Lobos Nature Reserve before it opened, along with three or four cars. With wind-twisted cypress trees, myriad paths and cliffs falling away to the surf, the reserve is stupidly beautiful and well worth a few hours. From here for the next couple of days, I would be riding along the iconic "Big Sur" stretch of Central California's coast - navigation being very simple - Highway One all the way, keep the Ocean on the right.

Clear of the Carmel traffic, a tailwind helping me along nicely, it was time to relax and enjoy what many consider to be one of the most beautiful areas of America.
Bixby Bridge
The Santa Lucia Range drops straight into the Pacific along Big Sur, leaving a topography of sea cliffs and inlets, along which Highway One clings precariously. Throughout the early decades of the 20th century, bridges were built on key sections and the isolated communities along the way were linked. In more recent decades, the coastline has become a refuge for the wealthy - hotels are few and far between - and restaurants and convenience stores are extremely expensive. But, in the early morning, with a sea mist hanging under the cliffs in the sun, and a dozen miles of on view in front of you, there are few places I would rather be.

So, this was a great day of cycling, stopping occasionally to take pics and chatting to families in RVs at the various viewpoints. Before long, I was crossing Bixby Bridge, a Pacific Coast Highway landmark used to many a film and TV commercial which, true to form, had a studio location trailer parked at one end, preparing the bridge for its latest starring appearance.
So nice


Soon, the road pushed inland through redwood forests towards my destination for the night. Just before the turn off for the Big Sur Campground I paused to stock up on supplies at a roadside store and met two college kids from Wisconsin, Adam and Julian, who invited me to share the cost of the campsite and wood for the campfire. Camping in a redwood forest was a great experience and it was a real shame I couldn't stay there for a few more nights - we only had time for one quick excursion to a local waterfall along a fantastically atmospheric trail. As we were getting out campfire fire sorted out, another pair of cyclists set up camp next to us - Lee and Willy - buddies from back East who now live a continent apart but still keep in touch. These four would be my road buddies for the next few days - great guys but all quicker than me, and hauling a lot less - why am I carrying so much crap?
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Cheap real estate...
Cheap real estate...
Bixby Bridge
Bixby Bridge
So nice
So nice
Point Lobos State Reserve
Point Lobos State Reserve
Point Lobos
Point Lobos
Even the gas stations are pretty
Even the gas stations are pretty
Getting into Big Sur
Getting into Big Sur
On the road selfie!!
On the road selfie!!
The reality is about 20 times more…
The reality is about 20 times mor…
Looking inland
Looking inland
Big Sur Campground
Big Sur Campground
In the forest
In the forest
Trees everywhere
Trees everywhere
Campsite reading
Campsite reading
My tent
My tent
Julian, Adam and Me
Julian, Adam and Me
Monterey
photo by: ccjbeachbum