Saturday Drive

I didn’t have anything to do yesterday so I decided to take a drive out to the coast. This is a good time of year to go due to the weather being really nice, and the tourist travel season hasn’t quite kicked in yet so the roads aren’t too backed up with RVs and other slow moving vehicles.

I drove to Monterey to begin my drive down the coast along Highway 1. I’m glad I went yesterday instead of today due to a marathon that was to have part of the highway closed leaving out of Carmel. My plan was to drive south to San Luis Obispo and find a place to stay the night and then drive back the same way the next day. That had to change not only due to the marathon, but a road closure about 65 miles south of Monterey. I can only guess it was due to a rock slide that needed some major work done. Highway 1 is always at risk for rock slides and this past winter there were many.

I decided to continue south towards Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park as my destination. The park is about 37 miles south of Carmel and is a must stop if you ever drive through the area. If you don’t stop to take a look you’ll miss one of the more scenic spots on the coast since it isn’t visible from the car. Pulling off to one of the turnouts you can then see an 80 foot waterfall that drops from the tree lined cliffs down onto a beach in a protected cove. There is a trail that you can walk down for better views of the waterfall and beach.

As most of my drives along Highway 1 go I took my time and pulled over now and then to take a photo here and there, as well as just take time to sit and look at everything. Sea otters and seals can be seen quite readily and there are plenty of birds and flowers to look at. It makes for a nice and relaxing day if you don’t try to hurry past everything.

After making it down to the waterfall I turned around and slowly made my way back up the coast. Rather than head directly home from the Monterey area I decided to continue up the coast to San Francisco. The sun was setting just as I approached Pigeon Point Lighthouse, which is about 50 miles south of San Francisco. The sunset wasn’t all that dramatic, but the lighthouse provided a nice foreground to the setting sun. Once the sun had disappeared I continued north until I got into San Francisco. I stopped for a bite to eat than drove the final 90 minutes back home.

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May 2011
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