Big Sur felt impossibly far from the hazy Massachusetts town of Groveland as I packed my station wagon. My girlfriend and I were about to head out on a month long journey traversing across the U.S, and although we did not have many destinations planned out Big Sur seemed a must. After picking up an Atlas at a local book store we headed out. Well, 4,800 miles later we rambled down US Rt. 1 to the slopes of the Santa Lucia Mountains arriving in Big Sur.

With peaks shrouded in fog, the mountains, bounded from the Pacific seemed endless. Even after the eleven hours of driving that day we felt compelled to continue our travels down the jagged coastline. As dusk crept on us we found a pull-off and drifted off in the back of the station wagon to the sound of the surf sweeping some hundreds of feet below. After awakening to more fog we relocated camp and hit a nearby trailhead. Climbing out of the looming redwoods and onto the arid mountainside the sun burnt off the fog and we had our first clear view of the landscape.

With excitement fueling our pace for the first few miles we almost did not notice the snake blocking our thin trail until my girlfriend almost stepped on it. After being turned back by a few flicks of the coiled creatures tail we descended the mountains. Getting of the trailhead we crossed the road and followed a new path down to beaches tucked into the cliffs along the Pacific. We scrambled down to a crescent shaped beach known as Jade Cove. We had not planned on diving into the ocean or exploring caves along the cliffs as the tide went out, but then again some of the best experiences come from unexpected times.

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