The mist on the mountain

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I love the foggy marine layer that comes in off the Pacific Ocean in central California.  Over the time we’ve spent here in the last year, we often find ourselves speaking of it as though it were a person, like some cross between a mythical creature and a grumpy but lovable townie.   It’s always present in some way; if not immediately engulfing us, then waiting and hovering on the horizon over the sea.  Will it let the sun in today, we wonder?  Will it crawl eerily up the mountain as we race against the light to get home?  Should we bring a sweater to protect against the damp cold it brings?  Or will it disappear for days at a time, leaving us wondering after it and missing its chilly, slithering form as it makes its way across the landscape?

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The road just rolls out behind me

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Big Sur, CA. October, 2014.

Tidefalls

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McWay Falls, Big Sur, CA.  October, 2014.

Wanderings: Big Sur

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Have you ever imagined what the edge of the world might look like?  With its creeping fog, and jagged mountains rising straight out of the sea, Big Sur seems impossible enough to be that place.  With cliffs too impossibly steep and crashing waves too impossibly wild, one feels like this place was meant to be a secret, open only to the strongest and most daring among us.  And yet, here is this road carved right into the mountainside, and here you are, a regular person, standing right at the edge of this cliff staring out at an unearned landscape that almost seems too beautiful to be real.

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A first taste

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Heading north from Los Angeles to Monterey, we drove along the scenic Pacific Coastal Highway through Big Sur.  We passed through as quickly as we could, not wanting to get stuck on the twisting mountain roads after dark and knowing that we would be back a week later to take it in more slowly.  But the sunsets undid us and the sight of the sea crashing up against the mountains was too much, and more often than we could help, we found ourselves pulling over to the side of the road, staring wide-eyed at the wild and rugged coast.

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Big Sur, CA.  September, 2014.

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