We thank our partner-sponsors of OpenRoad with Doug McConnell, Kaiser Permanente , East Bay Regional Park District and Lake County, California for making the series possible.
WATCH THE EPISODE 110 VIDEO HERE
-- Doug McConnell
I hope you enjoy. our OpenRoad show featuring Big Sur. It's one of my favorite places on earth. If you haven't been yet, I urge you to plan a trip there soon. If you have traveled there, get back as soon as you can.
From Carmel south to Hearst Castle, the mountains seem to erupt out of the sea. Highway 1 clings to the edge of the continent for 90 scenic miles. It's quite a ride, so take your time.
Along the way, you'll have plenty of reasons to stop and look around. There are many magnificent State Parks to explore (if we can keep them open....see my notes for Show 9) from Pt. Lobos State Reserve in the north to Hearst Castle in the south. I have particular affection for Andrew Molera State Park. You can see our videos about these places and others in Big Sur on this website by checking out the column to the right.
The last time I filmed along Highway 1, my crew and I pulled off at a particularly beautiful spot to get a shot of the coastline. As soon as we hopped out of the car, we got a wonderful surprise. We saw nine huge California Condors sunning themselves out of sight of the road just below us and on the beams of an abandoned structure perched nearby on the edge of a cliff. That's about half of the Condor population in the area. Condors, nearly extinct two decades ago, have been reintroduced to the wild Big Sur coast. We filmed the still endangered Condors for awhile and watched them quietly for a bit longer before moving on. It was a great and totally unexpected gift to seem them so close, and another reminder of the value of slowing down and being alert. Too often we rush through our experiences so fast that genuine treasures become invisible to us.
Besides appreciating the landscape and the drive, you should also plan to visit the Big Sur Lighthouse when it's open to the public and the Henry Miller Library to learn something about the region's fascinating human history. There are some good places to eat and excellent places to stay in every price range, from the magnificent but very expensive Post Ranch Inn to exquisite and cheap State Park campgrounds.
Then, leave the car behind and hike the mountains and get down to lovely and uncrowded beaches. And before you leave it all behind, give thanks to the people who've cared for this stunning stretch of coast and have insured that it will always be protected.