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Origins of Zen

Roadtripping the Big Sur Coast, California

USA | Saturday, 23 November 2013 | Views [119]

    "Have you ever thought about going California?" the medium asked. I told her I had thought about it, but never made any serious plans. "I see you will be going there as well, before your trip east," she said, "You will be going with a man." 
     Friends and I had been contemplating a road trip to the west coast, but come October it was just Kendra and I, who decided to plan a layover in California before Asia to visit some friends and drive the Big Sur coast. When we landed in San Francisco I thought the medium had been wrong, that I somehow selfprophesized and altered my direction slightly, but it was the same price to fly out from the west coast, so why not visit some friends? While standing in line for our car rental, after an eventful night in the Castro district, a guy with a bulky pack approached us. He had a warm and intriguing spirit and was heading down the coast to Los Angeles as well. When he asked if we wanted to ditch our rental and ride together it was pretty much a no brainer. And so it went...three days of camping and driving with a stranger turned friend- the man the medium saw. 
     After we got off the highway, the scenery started to open up and we caught a sunset over rolling blue hills, headed toward Big basin, which is part of the Redwood Forest. I began losing myself in the passing landscape of thick towering trees and came to when we stopped in Boulder Creek for some supplies.  We arrived after nightfall at Santa Cruz's New Brighton State Park (30$) and found some trees to hang our hammocks between, but when the temperature plummeted we found ourselves cuddled up in our little Ford Compact.  In the morning we began our journey down US-1 through Carmel River to Big Sur. The road hugged the cliffs with what could be unforgiving turns, and without a cloud in sight, the sky met the sea with a glowing white light. Besides then, the only other time I'd seen how round the Earth is was when I went skydiving in South Africa; a magnificent sight indeed. We played our beats and let our tongues hang out of our mouths, daydreaming about the infinance of the world and moving to the west coast.     
     We stopped for coffee at a place called Lucia's that had outdoor seating with a view of the ocean. The waiter told us about this pie special, calling it 'mountains, rivers, canyons, forests, brooks, estuaries, and desert pie'. While the flamboyant waiter later admitted he made the name up, we were nonetheless intrigued and ordered it. Turns out it was one of the best pieces of pie I'd ever had.  
    A little ways down the road, we pulled over to walk the elephant seal boardwalk and said goodbye to the Condors, sand dunes, and rolling waves.  Harmony Hills winery was recommended to us by a woman we met at Lucia's, and for 5$ we tasted six wines and probed the staff on where to find the best fish tacos. Unfortunately, Taco Temple fell short of our expectations, but the endless chips and salsa made up for it. We camped in Montana del Oro Park (25$) which had breath taking cliff-side views of the ocean and spent the night fireside scoping out the starscape. 
    We ended our trip at the Santa Monica pier, ironically right behind Danny's fish taco truck, which at 2 for 5$ was a steal, considering our location. Shortly thereafter I dropped 12$ on a glass of sangria at this hipster hangout called Bungalow, which looked more like the set of an Abercrombie ad than a bar. For dinner we mowed down on some appetizers at Primitivo in Venice, which had a great ambiance with intricate eats at a mediocre price. The next morning we grabbed breakfast at Flake'sbefore catching our flight to Japan, slowly making our way to Nepal.   
      The trip down the coast was warm in spirit and left me wanting more, solidifying the notion that I'm not quite done with Cali yet. Who can say no to fish tacos, lush mountains, picturesque beaches, kind souls, and wine? 

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