We drove west as far as we could, then turned south to Carmel. We parked the car, braced for the wind, and set our feet into the warm, white sand.
I took pictures of patterns on the beach,
lines and space,
shadows and light.
I joked about the photos being art. But when I look at them after the fact,
I actually like the sharp contrast of mid-day sunshine on objects in the sand.
This one looks like an island, but it’s really a mound of seaweed.
Then we drove farther south along the winding road, peering over the edge where rock walls tumble toward the sea. We stopped for vistas along the way.
We saw nothing in the distance,
but islands up close. And then we turned our heads to watch a California condor soaring past us in silence. What a head. What a bird. I had no time to take a picture, but Jerry got a quick shot that reveals the bird’s tag number: 4.
And then, not far beyond Big Sur, we spotted the only café we’d seen in many miles. It was too late for lunch—we arrived just as the kitchen closed—but we each grabbed a bag of chips and a drink, and we sat to the view. We chatted with a couple of Swedish tourists. They’re taking 3 1/2 weeks to drive the California coast from San Francisco to LA, plus several days in Hawaii. She’s turning 36. She’s dreamed of this trip since she was a child. And now, she said, she’s learning that Californians are are really nice and helpful and pleasant. They were loving this journey far more than expected.
We sat a while, watching the occasional car pass,
then turned back up the coast to do that drive in reverse. We made it back to the house just in time for sunset snacks on the back patio with a faint chill in the air and that satiated feeling of a good day done.