Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Road Trip to Big Sur with Mama Chihuahua!
Photography by Rachel S. Thurston and Karen Custer Thurston

*Although I'm posting this on August 19th, I originally wrote this blog on Wednesday, August 5th 2009
Big Sur, California

Listening to the angelic a cappella songs of a Russian Choir and the crackling, low roar of our fireplace…Mom and I are stretched out in our little cottage along Highway 1….long stalks of sunflowers stretch out beyond our windows beside clumps of lavendar…across the road is the Big Sur River winding its way through the redwoods….

We walked today along vertiginous cliffs amber in the light under a cloudless sky…the air was perfect….the hot breeze moving up the hillside carrying the fragrances of sweet musky sage and the occasional aroma of eucalyptus…a mixture of menthol and dill pickles, unmistakeable and surprisingly pleasant...smells that are uniquely reminiscent of California. We wander along one of the paths in Julia Pfeiffer State Park to one of my favorite waterfalls spilling out onto a crescent-shaped beach where the water laps up at such a perfectly gentle speed you’d think it was created for a Hollywood romance….it’s divine!

At sunset we climb an unearthly looking rock island until the only bit of earth separating us from the expanse of the Pacific is a 200-foot cliff face of golden rock studded with lichen and a blaze of red….the ocean so supple….gently rippling…so benign from here….the sky studded now with clouds stretched thin like cottonballs torn into long, transparent strips…..their underbellies a light pink…the Santa Lucia mountains behind us are turning amber…the chaparral and forests are deeper shade of jade…..and then the moon rises just as the sun sets….a brilliant yellow orb and below it the water shimmers like a luminescent spill of gold paint….a cool wind carrying the scent of salt water and summer sweeps past us….one of the docents shares a few rather lame ghost stories…I think a few of us were hoping for more ghosts stories….so Mom and I share stories of our own on our way down the hill…

The air has been deliciously warm and cool like lakewater that’s been stirred up after a hot day….it’s so relaxing here to be hunkered down in our cabin and to be still…

Tomorrow we head South to San Simeon and go on see the Hearst Castle...