Another word association: Big Sur - Hippies - the 60's. I had a friend who spent a few months doing the hippie thing in a van on a beach at Big Sur many years ago. I was too involved having children to take time out to be a hippie, but there is a vagabond in me that loved to imagine what it might have been like. In the late 60's, Mo visited the same beach in Kauai that we hiked to last month, and said it smelled awful from all the waste and dirt of the hippies who were squatting there. No pun intended. So maybe the imaginary vision of hippiedom from afar isn't quite the same as the reality was. But hippies were the ones who had a part in making Big Sur famous back then, and I remember hearing about it. The remnants are there as well, with young people wearing dreadlocks and tie-dye, still caring about things like sustainable living and healthy eating. Good things to care about. Esalen is there as well, another holdover from a different time, still operating and providing a place for meditation training among other self improvement kinds of things. http://www.esalen.org/
Sunday we woke to clear sunny skies again, and a bit of a chill to the air, but nothing that wasn't easy to shake off with a light jacket. Mo cooked her classic campfire bacon and hash browns, and we kept it all warm on the little bbq and really loved that old fashioned hot breakfast. Spent the day exploring the roads, beaches, and waterfall, and found a magnificent restaurant for our celebratory dinner.
Nepenthe is just about 10 miles south of the RV park, with a restaurant that overlooks the ocean in both directions, high above the cliffs. The ambiance was wonderful, and even though it was a really nice place, we all felt perfectly comfortable in jeans, and a good thing because it was much too chilly for the light skirt that I brought to wear to dinner. Of course, the Big Sur prices were a bit shocking, but it was the view we were after, so everyone decided it was worth it. The food was excellent, and we had a wonderful celebration, at least it felt like a celebration, even though there wasn't any particular event to celebrate except the loveliness of the area and the enjoyment of friendships. That's enough, I guess.
I'm not sure when we will go back to Big Sur. It was expensive in every way. Our camp site was 43 per night, with the 5. charge for the dog, and the tiny canvas cabin for Maryruth and Gerald was 75 per night, even in the off season. It certainly isn't a place for retired rv'rs to hang out for any length of time. A big surprise was that a very large number of campers were in rented RV's, lots from El Monte RV, and most of them we talked to were from the Bay Area.
Seems like an expensive way to spend a weekend to me, especially with gasoline getting very close to 4. a gallon here in California. Most everyone was very friendly, and I think that's an especially good thing considering just how close together everyone was in this tight little park. A very good thing about the park was the lack of night lights. It was dark and starry and wonderful. The bathrooms were heated and nice as well, and I even opted for a shower there instead of waiting for water to heat in our rig.
There are a lot of places in this country to explore, so it might be the last time for Big Sur for us, for awhile at least.