Thursday, May 31, 2007

Weather on the Pacific Coast Highway

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

It’s been 40 years since I first traveled the 90 miles up California One, the Pacific Coast Highway. It was 1967, the summer of love.

No, I wasn’t off to San Francisco in the back of a VW ‘hippie’ bus. It was my first “guy road trip.“ It didn’t start that way. My family had moved to Albuquerque in 1966. My grandmother, mother, sister and a cousin took a cruise that started in Los Angeles. After delivering them, my father, younger brother and I then drove up the coast.

My sister was in the Army band stationed at the Presidio in the early ’80s, since then every time I travel to that area I drive the road.

From the town of San Simeon, at the south end of the mostly mountainous road, is dotted with wide spot, vistas, state parks and beaches. There are a few homes, restaurants, taverns, motels, spas, retreats and institutes before reaching the northern town of Carmel by the Sea.

Pacific weather smacks the coast with its wide variety and it’s not unusual to find sunny to foggy conditions in a single trip.

The Pacific Coast Highway is also know as the Cabrillo highway, the road was built in the 1930s and is best known for its arched bridges. The curved Bixby bridge, below, was constructed in 1932 while the multi-arched Big Creek bridge, above, was constructed in 1938; they are considered classic examples of concrete arch design.

This is one of my favored vistas.

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