Bobby: Mary, did you see that sign? It said, “Impassable in wet conditions”. Wanna go on it?
Mary: Sure, why not.
Two hours and 11 miles later…
It began as a typical Mary and Bobby adventure. We were on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) traveling from San Jose to Venice Beach through Big Sur. We arrived in to Monterey and the views were stunning. Drop dead gorgeous mountains on one side and ocean cliffs on the other. We pulled over several times to just breathe in the air, take in the scenery and snap some photos.
When Bobby saw the sign…he couldn’t resist. So we pulled over onto the dirt road and thought it would be a quick little adventure. But we kept going and going and going…. With treacherous drops on the passenger side of the car that went down HUNDREDS of feet looking out on the ocean and mountains that kept going up on the drivers side, we moved forward. Our heads looking up and down and in every direction.
We traveled slowly. Bobby drove and I took photos. We went about eleven miles in two hours. It was just so damn majestic we couldn’t stop going further and further down this one lane dirt road up and down mountains.
We began this journey about 3PM. It gets dark here around 4:30PM. At about 4PM, we began to panic just a tad. We didn’t get dramatic. We just came to an impasse – do we continue or do we pansy out? Well, you can guess it – we didn’t pansy out.
We had no cell service, there were no people or cars or homes in sight, we didn’t know where the road ended (if it did at all) and we couldn’t drive at night because of the terrain. We figured we would push through and if all else failed, we had some water in the car, Laura’s pumpkin and pecan pie (that is now a weird mix of awesome sludge) and plenty of cigarettes. So if we had to stay the night in the car on the mountain side, we would be okay. Cold and dark, but okay.
We saw majestic trees. We heard….nothing. We saw the TOPS of Redwood trees at EYE LEVEL. We saw the bottom of valley’s. We saw no humans. We gazed with our mouths open and acted like little kids pointing out everything to each other. Look over here! Look at that! Holy Crap! Stop! Stop!
Then, as if Jesus himself answered our prayers, my phone started buzzing. We had cell service! We were able to see a satellite map on my cell phone and noticed we only had about a mile to go down the mountain.
THANK YOU BABY JESUS, THANK YOU BUDDHA, THANK YOU TO ALL
When we got back to the PCH, we saw a camp site and thought we should stay for the night. We’d had enough adventure for the day and didn’t want to miss any of the stunning views along the rest of the PCH (we still have several hundred miles to drive tomorrow).
When we pulled into the campsite and told the woman at the desk what happened, she said, oh yah….the ‘old coast road’. I said, no no no! This was not a road. This was a dirt pathway along the side and through the mountains. She assured us, the road we traveled was the old road EVERYONE traveled before the Bixby Creek Bridge was built. I CANNOT fathom how that road was ever a good idea for the masses.
But we survived.
Today is exactly how I wanted this vacation to be.