This is a (very!) belated posting from the end of our month-long van trip through the Southwest and up the California Coast.
Coming out of Las Vegas, we beelined for the southern tip of Big Sur, making our first stop in the cute little seaside town of Cambria. Our readings suggested the locals wouldn’t be friendly to just pulling off on the side of a country road, so we set up camp at the San Simeon State Campground.
This turned out to be a perfect stop for our child-starved 10-year-old: spotting kids on the way into the campground, he practically shoulder-rolled out of the van to meet them. The little town was just a couple miles away, so I biked in and found a cafe to work at for the next couple of days while Michelle and Zevin explored the area.
A rainstorm had washed out Route 1 just to the north of Cambria, so we had to go inland and loop around back out to the coast to continue up Big Sur. It felt like a long detour, but really it only added a couple hours onto our month-long trip, and we were blessed with this spectacular view coming down out of the mountains through Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. A CHPs helicopter had parked alongside the road narrow road to take in the wonder, as well.
We found a spot just above the water to camp that night and went to sleep to the sound of surf and sea lions barking.
We took our time coming up Route 1 from there, stopping regularly to get out and play by the water and just to digest the astounding views. In case you’re curious, the rock with all the starfish and mussels, Zevin dubbed “Life Rock”.
In addition to the gallery of photos above, I shot this delicious bit of wave yumminess with my drone.
We stopped in Monterey for the night and also spent a lovely day in Capitola, then up to Alameda to spend some time with friends. On their recommendation, we finished our trip up in out-of-time, hippie dreamtown Mendocino, where, as luck would have it, there was a summer concert series going on on the bluff overlooking the water. We camped in town here, just pulling our curtains on a backstreet, and then waking in the morning for some delicious coffee and pastries at one of the local cafes.
And that was that. We rolled out of Mendocino and made the 16 hour drive in one run back to Seattle.