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  • jcath1

Big Sur Road Trip

Updated: Jan 17, 2022



In September of '21 I drove another Navy Mom out to San Diego from her home in Sullivan County, NY so she could spend time with her two sons. My son is stationed near Reno, NV so I planned a trip up the PCH instead of taking the interstate highways to spend time with him. I had done the part south of LA to San Deigo in the past so I wanted to drive a part of it I hadn't done before. I got started long before dawn and drove up to the Santa Monica Pier and arrived there shortly after sunrise. I had never seen it in person before and now I have!

My next stop was the Visitor's Center for Channel Islands National Park in Ventura. It was very cloudy so I couldn't see the islands and unfortunately I didn't have time to go out there but one of these days I'll make it.


While I was waiting for the center to open I had a cup of coffee and a delicious raspberry scone at the Harbor Cove Cafe right next to the Visitors Center. While I was sitting out back admiring all the yachts in the marina I struck up a conversation with the woman sitting next to me. We had a delightful conversation. She told me she was in the middle of a 30 day challenge: do something different every day for 30 days. That day she stopped at the Harbor Cove Cafe for breakfast since she had never been there before. She took different ways to work, tried different food, read a different genre of book than she normally does, you get the idea. I thought it was great! Can't be in a rut if you're thinking outside you're comfort zone!



Heading north I passed these zebras out in a field. Yup, zebras. There was quite the traffic slowdown in the area with many cars on the shoulder of the road. Lots of people looking!



My next stop was Elephant Seal Vista Point. I loved watching the seals. Especially when they were throwing sand on top of themselves.




I kept heading north. Below is an interesting tunnel and more scenery on my trip. I stopped at many vista points, took my time through small towns and took in as much as I could. The weather was amazing, not hot and not a cloud in the sky.






So many beautiful places to see. The picture below is of Mc Way Falls. The water falls right onto the beach. The parking lot was crowded and it took a while to find a spot. I paid the fee and walked out to the point in the trail where I had a good view of the falls. The trail down to the beach was closed. I was a little annoyed with myself that my research didn't show that. I paid the self service parking fee and was in the park for 15 minutes tops. It's a very short walk to see the falls. Do what you will with that little bit of information, but the falls were beautiful.


There were tons of things to see and stops I could have made. Way too much for one day realistically. I used Google maps and followed the road up the coast by moving the map as I went. If something looked interesting enough to me I wrote it down on my list of places to stop. I chose the top five places and gauged my drive by having an arrival time in Monterey at 5 pm. I knew ahead of time how many hours it would take me to get to Nevada and I knew my driving limit for a day. I did pretty well but got to Nevada about an hour after I had planned. A long but satisfying day!



What I'm drinking today:




Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters Snickerdoodle Cookie - such a sweet treat! Not a morning coffee but a middle of the afternoon coffee for a delightful pick me up. Check out their selection of coffees. I'm enjoying a cup while I plan my next trip!


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