“Dude, wanna meet up for a day in Big Sur?” my friend Bri texted one day. “Is that even possible?” I asked, and then proceeded to Google whether or not this would be an attainable feat. Alas, it was! At least according to Google. But we’ll get to the details later.
Bri lives in my hometown in Southern California and was already planning a weekend trip where she’d check out Hearst Castle, spend the night in that area, and then hop over to Big Sur. I rented a car for a day, bought some snacks, filled up my water bottle, put on my Victorville baseball cap (because we’d be hiking and I wanted to represent, also because Bri bought it for me). I was ready to hike, ready to immerse myself in a day of wilderness and exploration, and I was ready for the 3.5 hour drive by myself.
Behold the Victorville baseball cap, also that enthusiasm for hiking.
Living in a city where I mostly take the bus, or get rides from friends with cars, I often miss being in a car alone so I could do what I rarely have the opportunity to do anymore — sing all of the songs at the top of my lungs as if I were Mariah/Whitney/other amazing singers, with an imaginary audience. It’s probably the best thing about driving, in case you haven’t discovered this already. So that went on for a while during my trip. I also made a mandatory McDonalds stop for breakfast, because it isn’t a roadtrip if there isn’t fast food involved — even if your roadtrip is only 3.5 hours long.
I drove along the 101 through cities I’ve heard of but have never seen — Redwood City, Morgan Hill, Watsonville. All neat in their own ways, at least from the freeway. The big red barn with a sign that said “Disneyana” on it in Watsonville was probably the most intriguing landmark I passed that I’d love to check out.
Eventually, I made it. And on time! I parked at the deli that is also a supermarket and gift shop and perused their sizeable inventory of 420-friendly souvenirs. I wasn’t aware that Big Sur was so boastfully 420-friendly, but now I am thanks to the gift shop.
Bri FINALLY arrived (she was around 20 minutes late and I enjoy giving her a hard time because she is ALWAYS on time, if not 15 minutes early, always). We grabbed sandwiches and headed to our first hike – Valley View & Pfeiffer Falls.
Tatiana Jimenez, amateur nature photographer
We walked, we took photos, we took breaks. It was a nicely paced trek up the hill to see “the view.” Since we’ve been in a drought, the hike was a very dry one, and as a result so was the waterfall. I mean, there was water, but not as much as usual, I’m guessing.
A very flattering, blurry photo of yours truly in front of the waterfall
Valley View was exactly what it sounds like — a view of a valley. I’m not trying to be a jerk, but I’d recommend skipping this hike. It was a short hike, but I’d prefer spending more time closer to the ocean next time.
The top of the Valley View trail
We ate our sandwiches at the top of the trail and met a couple from Oakland who were also there for the day, and whom were also underwhelmed with the view. “Is this it?” they asked. “That’s exactly what we said,” we replied. “Those sandwiches look good though.” “Thanks.”
Precious love notes left behind from hikers before us
Bri and I got back into her car, I left mine in the parking lot because it would just be easier that way, and headed towards the ocean. The views were gorgeous.
Just doing some casual rock climbing
I’M QUEEN OF THE WORLD!
Can you see the house?
My favorite view was this one, and I bet it’s even prettier in the spring.
And also this one. Breathtaking, isn’t it? And maybe FAMILIAR???
POETIC JUSTICE anyone???
All in all, it was a great trip. I got to hang with one of my favorite people for a day and we explored a new-to-us part of our beautiful state. I’m still trying to block out the painful 4.5 hour drive home, but it was well worth it, and oddly, Big Sur now feels like it’s in my backyard. We Californians are a lucky bunch.