“Stay Wild” makes me want to pack up the Jeep and go somewhere remote and wild.
But then COVID-19 like the annoying pandemic it is, sucks the joy out of that very thought.
It won’t be fun and free, remote, and wild. There will be restrictions and masks and too many other people in search of freedom too.
So, I take out my journal and start planning coastal adventurer road trips for next year. Hopeful that 2021 will be a better year for us all.
Big Sur on Pacific Coast Highway
The first road trip location is Big Sur. An absolutely stunning central Californian coastal icon. Towering with coast redwoods and shrouded in coastal mists, Big Sur is known for its rugged beauty.
Hiking trails, 237 miles of them to be precise trail off in to the Santa Lucia mountains to the east.
California condors, North America’s largest land bird can be seen feasting on dead animals, including whales, after near extinction twenty years ago. They were reintroduced to the Big Sur coast in 1997 and have since flourished.
And if Gray whales the size of school buses are anything you’d ever like to see. I mean come on who wouldn’t want to see a 45-50 foot living mammal. They migrate during the off season which is December through May.
Then of course, no coastal adventure would be complete without a visit to the beach. Big Sur has eleven beaches, coves, and state parks to pick from with beach access.
We have been warned, us curious, coastal adventurers.
Built by Convicts – The All-American Road
So, we’ve had a taste of touristy Big Sur, but how about the road less traveled? The road built by convicts between 1919 and 1937 in Big Sur, and the first section to open.
I’m referring of course to the All-American Road, the “longest state route in California”, the Pacific Coast Highway. Also known as PCH, Highway 1, State Route 1, Coast Highway, Cabrillo Highway or Shoreline Highway. That’s a lot of AKA’s.
I’ll go with PCH to keep it simple. PCH has the honorary designation of an All-American Road, which means it meets the U.S. Department of Transportation’s definition:
“To receive an All-American Road designation, a road must possess multiple intrinsic qualities that are nationally significant and have one-of-a-kind features that do not exist elsewhere. The road or highway must also be considered a “destination unto itself.” That is, the road must provide an exceptional traveling experience so recognized by travelers that they would make a drive along the highway a primary reason for their trip.”
So, it looks like 2021’s road trip to Big Sur will be an adventure spent with giants. From driving a misty All-American road icon, to seeing North America’s largest land bird. Hiking through the tallest trees on Earth and watching the migration of 45-foot living mammals.