Monday, September 15, 2014

Cali Trip - 9: Big Sur

Big Sur was a bit of a surprise for me, because I expected it to somehow suddenly begin and end, and it doesn't really do that. You are just driving along seeing great stuff and after a while you realize that you are in the middle of this 90 miles of road. The parks aren't really much better than just driving along the highway, although we did stay the night at Pfieffer state park. The cabins were expensive compared to a hotel along the interstate, but you don't get deer hanging around your back door on the interstate! I'll have to give a plug for Fox Car Rentals here. This was the 4th time I've used them and we always end up with a good, fun car. This time we started off looking for an economy car and found ourselves with a Camaro convertible. We almost always had the top down and the heater on. AND...this was during a California heatwave! I got to the point where I forgot about trying to not look like a tourist and just let myself admire nature's beauty. So many miles of the clearest blue water and mountains, and the least congested part of the state that I had found. We did go the week after labor day, so I'm not sure how bad things are with crowds in the summer. Most places near cities seemed like they had people circling for parking spaces, so I'm guessing that we were fortunate to be there when we were.
We took a week to drive from San Diego to San Francisco, just stopping whenever we wanted and that felt just right. We had plenty of time to enjoy everything, even though you could spend a whole week in any number of places we drove through. Unfortunately, California's popularity also leaves them with some ecology issues: The persistent drought was bringing wildfires to the national parks nearby and a constant concern about water usage everywhere we went. Although the water was clear and blue, at one beach I saw 4 dead birds, all different species, all laying near each other. Californians are worried about their water quality and the dead birds gave me pause. I had only seen that before with oil spills. The parks seem to struggle with money enough to keep them up and this is an area where Florida can be proud, but will we someday end up with the problems California has now?

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