Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Road To Big Sur

During our recent visit to California, my brother offered to take us on a scenic drive along the coastal highway (U.S. Route 1). My brother insisted that the scenery was no less spectacular than Yosemite National Park. I had my doubts. For the unfamiliar, the Big Sur is not the name of one particular place. It is apparently the name given to the entire stretch of coastline where mountains meet the Pacific Ocean. This first photo was taken at a state park. Many of the trails were closed due to wildfires last year. This was the main "waterfall trail". Notice the little waterfall to the left.
The narrow road curves around the mountains, over narrow bridges. To our left were the tops of the mountains, to our right, spectacular cliffs, the gorgeous Pacific and a dangerous drop. The "floating" brownish substance visible in the turquoise ocean is the kelp forest.

Here is a look down the slopes to the ocean.

A look back at some of the coastline. I tried to "frame" this a little with the wildflowers.
There was quite a bit of poison oak growing along the roadside. I scratched up my leg trying to get some photos while avoiding the poison. This could have been more spectacular if I was less careful.
Do click on the images for details. (One of these days we are going to buy a high quality DSLR). In the meantime, our point and shoot digital will have to do.
(My youngest daughter offered to climb down the near vertical drop).

This is similar to an earlier photo, but taken in a vertical format.
I was told that this is the road used in every car commercial. I didn't take too many photos of the actual road. I was quite taken by the scenery.
I wished I had my paints. I wish I had the time to stay for a while. I will have to be content with a few photos.
I will probably try to paint from some of these photos. I realize it is not "plein air", but sometimes you have to use what you have. The experience was authentic. My memories will be. I always look at painting from photos as a "point of departure".
We did take over 500 photos. I will post as many decent ones as I can.


dive said...

Wowee, Neetzy! That is a totally awesome day out. Thank you for taking us with you.

Coincidentally, there is a huge photo of the Big Sur coastline in my newspaper today as they are reporting that old Arnold is threatening to close down lots of parks and coastline areas to save money (dork).

neetzy said...

Thanks Dive. It was an amazing place! Arnold is a Dorkhead.

Katie said...

These are wonderful photos Neetzy! I'm so jealous you've been to Big Sur, as I've never actually been south of Monterey. I think you could create some amazing paintings from these photos. Oh and I agree that Arnold is a dork!

Shazza said...

Gorgeous pics sis!

neetzy said...

Thanks. The Big Sur drive is amazing. I am glad that my brother drove so that we didn't
"drive over the cliff". You must take Dive there. (Wait a minute, I'm sure you will have "other" things to do).


The Monkeytooth is a great tour guide. The scenery was breathtaking. I now wish I had invested in a good camera.

Poetikat said...

Gorgeous photos! Some of them remind me of Cornwall. I doubt I'll ever see California, but at least I can see it through your eyes.


neetzy said...


I'm glad you enjoyed them. I've never been to Cornwall. Perhaps I will get there someday. I have so many other photos, I am not sure what to post next!

jeannette stgermain said...

wow this is a beautiful trip - I gotto remember this (since I live in CA) - thanks for sharing!