Monday, September 04, 2006

Friday 28th July: Driving down Big Sur - at last!


Bixby Bridge, Pacific Coast Highway
8" x 10"
Pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine sketchbook

After I left Point Lobos in the early afternoon, I continued down Highway 1 and along the coastline of Big Sur.

Big Sur is the coastline and immediate area inland which stretches some 90 miles (145km) along the coastline between the Carmel River and the San Carpoforo Creek. It extends about 20 miles (32km) inland. It's a truly amazing coastline with great views - both along and down(!) and seeing and driving down Big Sur is something I've wanted to do for a very long time.

The marine inversion continued for the most part. Here's an illustraton of what I mean.

Note also the steep sides - this is not a road to take your eye off the road so you can admire the view - you need to use the various stopping places en route to do that - and you'll be in good company as everybody else is doing the same thing!

Driving south down Big Sur (as opposed to north) means you get to maximise your focus on the road for some 90 miles as you're driving hairpin bends on the side next to the very big drop!

As I began to drive down the Highway, I began to realise that driving the Big Sur was going be very tiring, would take some time and that stopping a lot was maybe not the best idea. So sketching was limited and I skipped a visit to the redwoods and San Simeon and the Hearst Castle and still arrived in Morro Bay rather tired.....well actually I could use a lot stronger expression than that - but not in public! I'd definitely recommend taking your time travelling down Big Sur. Also be aware that it's a very popular place to visit and accommodation can be booked up a long time in advance.

The sketch is of the area next to the Bixby Bridge. The bridge was one of the largest and tallest bridges built when it was constructed in the thirties. It transformed the life of people who lived in the area. When I sketched it the bottom of the cloud was only just above the aurface of the road!

Read more about Big Sur and conservation aspects of the coastline at the sites listed below

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1 comment:

  1. Your drawings remind me of a trip up the coast of California I made with my family years ago when we were out visiting my dad. He lived in Ventura and we drove up to San Francisco at a leisurely pace so thanks for the memories! I also love to travel with my sketchbook and have many memories scrawled across pages in ink, pencil and watercolor. I came to this blog through your other blog. I thought I'd do a painting a day as a discipline and then found out it's this big internet/Ebay thing. Oh well, behind the times again. I just started a blog and am posting them there. For me it's just fun at this point and is keeping me painting outside my hand painted tile business. Thanks for your blogs--they're great!

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