Dawn in Cambria - iPhone photo ©2013 Claudia Ward
Happy New Year everyone! Peter and I have been on the road for the past two weeks enjoying California's central coast. I took this same trip years ago, like around 1977 or so, in a large, rented RV with four friends over Thanksgiving. We started in Los Angeles and ended in San Francisco - "camping" all the way up the coast.
Pier-View in Newport Beach - iPhone photo ©2013 Claudia Ward
Well this time we started south of LA in Irvine where my nephew and his wife have settled for a while and we enjoyed the sunny southern California weather and their hospitality over Christmas. I've spent a lot of time in and around Irvine's neighbor, Newport Beach over the years, visiting family and friends who made this their home so I'm really familiar with the area, but in all those visits I never spent any time on the coastal beaches, which is kind of surprising for a beach-lover like me. This trip though, I made up for lost time. We spent hours on the beaches at sunrise, sunset and in-between, and continued this behavior all along the Pacific coast from Irvine to San Francisco. The coastline is breathtaking and gets better and better the further north you travel, and the waves have been getting bigger and bigger - a challenge for my newest love - wave photography.
Pacific Fishing - iPhone photo ©2013 Claudia Ward
In Cambria and Carmel our Inns were so close to the ocean that we slept to the sound of its crashing waves. And, we just made it off of the switch-back intensive portion of the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) skirting the western edge of the Los Padres National Forest, to photograph the lighthouse at Point Sur at sunset.
Sunset at Point Sur - iPhone photo ©2013 Claudia Ward
Probably our favorite spot on this trip was one on the 17-mile drive in Pebble Beach, a spot near Point Joe referred to as "The Restless Sea". We've seen a lot of ocean waves in our time, but none that were like these. They were large, chaotic, and behaved like no other waves we've seen. They say that the "unique offshore turbulence" is "generated by the submerged terrain". Whatever the reason, we spent a couple of hours captivated by the unusual rhythm and spectacular performances of these waves - challenged trying to capture some of the dynamics of what we were seeing in our cameras.
Pebble Beach's Restless Sea - iPhone photo ©2013 Claudia Ward
We've yet to make it to the beach around San Francisco, but we're planning on doing that today thanks to winter-storm Hercules which will be hammering the northeast and caused JetBlue to cancel our flight home. Quel dommage! Two more days in San Francisco with temperatures reaching the low 60s. Yeah! Then we return to the deep freeze with lots of warm memories and wonderful images to sort and process.
Dusk at the Golden Gate to San Francisco - iPhone photo ©2013 Claudia Ward
Here's to a wonderful, happy, and healthy New Year for us all.