Driving on the curving, wild Route 1, we stopped almost every chance we could to take a look at the incredible scenery and enjoy the warmth of the brilliant January sun and the whiff of seaweed-inflected breezes. As it was winter, few other people were on the winding cliff roads.
That night we stayed in Big Sur, left almost completely empty. We were perhaps the only people staying in our comfortable hotel. Getting local advice, we learned about an unmarked road down to the shore. Deciding to go down before sunrise, we would explore and watch the dawn.
Heading down a long and bumpy track that felt like the entrance to another world at five in the morning, we parked the car and walked through a short, dark wood and onto a beach marked with rocky outcroppings. Far ahead, we could hear the roaring of the surf. The moon still hung in the sky and the place was bathed in dim blue and pink light foreshadowing the arrival of the sun.
As we approached the shore, we could saw a massive boulder out about fifty feet to see through which water was roaring through a small portal in lower middle. As the sky slowly brightened, my friends and I sat apart from each other, deep in our own meditations. We had to get back on the road again, but we couldn’t resist spending a lengthy sojourn on that beach, exploring, taking photographs, and watching the surf rush to the shore, creating landscapes in the sand.