John & Anne Wiley

2015/07/11

Piedras to Vicente

The lighthouses along Big Sur saved many vessels from ending on the rocks in the days before electronic navigation. Now these sturdy towers are beacons from another era, and monuments to our grandfathers.

5958 Piedras Blancas Light

5958 Piedras Blancas Light

This one at Piedras Blancas looks a bit embarrassed to not be wearing the fresnel lens “hat” that once qualified it as a serious structure. Once touched by the beam of this light, San Carpóforo Creek offers the last look at flat land going North.

5934 San Carpóforo

5934 San Carpóforo

Ragged Point offers a ledge on a cliff over the raging Pacific where visitors can now rest safe from storms.

5930 Ragged Point

5930 Ragged Point

One of our favorite secret spots is next, masquerading as a wide spot at a deep bend in the highway just past the Monterey County line where you can pull over to let faster traffic rush by. Most who stop there look out to sea, but a path leads off into the forest in the opposite direction along a creek where you can find waterfalls and discover why this is named Redwood Gulch.

5901 Redwood Gulch

5901 Redwood Gulch

For years there were roadside fountains here and elsewhere along this highway, refreshing wearing travelers who paused there with cool water from pure mountain springs and streams. Plaskett Creek offers trails to water and views, including the point where visitors can watch the action on the offshore rock.

5852 Plaskett Creek

5852 Plaskett Creek

Mill Creek offers picnic spots and the rustic camping area at Kirk Creek is popular with hikers.

5849 Kirk Ck & Mill Ck

5849 Kirk Ck & Mill Ck

Next to Limekiln Creek is a new section of highway where rocks used to routinely fall onto the road. Now they can slide under the new long bridge and fall harmlessly on the roof of a rock shelter.

5839 Limekiln Roadwork

5839 Limekiln Roadwork

With all these wide views you might not notice the innumerable sea caves that are only visible to people in aircraft.

5827 Sea Cave

5827 Sea Cave

This one is next to Vicente Creek where yet another bridge is all but unnoticed by most people, who rush along this highway to reach some destination while missing most of the journey.

5825 Vicente Creek

5825 Vicente Creek

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