Friday, 20 November 2009

Beaches, bays, seals and sunsets..

The Pacific horizon seen from the dramatic, rocky beaches of a 1000 mile (ish) coastline with mountains behind is a combination that makes the central Californian coast unique and special. Add loads of wildlife, the Big Sur River, creeks, waterfalls, pine, redwood and eucalyptus trees and it really is a mega fix for nature junkies. This is the fourth time I’ve been here and it is still as beautiful although the effects of last year’s wildfires and subsequent landslides are still visible. A lot of the trails in the parks are still closed and there are repairs and reinforcements along the coastal Route 1.

This part of the trip was really easy. We know this road so well we didn’t have to think about it and we spent a lot of time just walking on beaches, looking at rocks and sunsets……

Or sitting by the Big Sur River…..

We also spent time with the elephant seals near Gorda Springs….

And the sea lions, cormorants and herons in Monterey…..

We also went on a boat trip out of Monterey Bay where we got to see a humpback whale, a bunch of dolphins, zillions of jellyfish and a sun fish. 

Arrived in San Francisco and went out to celebrate the fact that we’d made it across the whole of the USA from East to West without any major problems and amazing weather. Apart from a few hours of rain in Kansas and three days happily watching the world not go by in snowy Denver, it was sunny and clear for the entire two months of the trip.  Now sitting in hotel in Newark, New Jersey right where we started after flying back across the continent from San Fran.

Avoiding cities and interstates made this trip pretty relaxed most of the time and staying in small towns made it a much more interesting experience. In the middle of the country almost everyone we met seemed to vote Republican including one woman who actually said ‘Fox News is the Truth’ and a lone Democrat who assured me ‘There are no liberals in America’.  We also found some of the quackest (and creepiest) TV religionists in the middle too, some of whom seem to think the Bible was written by Nostradamus.

I was intending to see and write about a lot more (presumably still) ‘liberal’ art on this trip but it didn’t happen. This was partly because we were on the road and not spending much time in towns except to sleep and eat (and canvas political views in motels, restaurants and bars…). However, I think it was mostly because the spectacle and enormity of the landscape was so all encompassing it seemed to become the art itself or at least make human creation temporarily redundant. So I guess there will have to be more art ..... on the next road trip! We could start in Boston and head west from there taking the Northern Route instead ......

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