In honor of Keep America Beautiful Month, I want to share a very special place with you—California’s Central Coast region. From Santa Cruz south to the wilderness of Big Sur and beyond, the golden beaches, rugged mountains, and stately redwood forests weave a unique magic. In the early part of the twentieth century, poet Robinson Jeffers wrote that upon cresting the hill from Monterey and looking out across the spectacular beauty of Carmel Bay, he and his wife knew they had found their “inevitable place”. I reached the same conclusion on my first visit. I can never go often enough or stay long enough.
America is filled with beautiful, special places from coast to coast. Think about the extraordinary natural areas in your own state. And it is up to each generation to protect them as a legacy for the next. These unspoiled gems are often fragile environments where man’s footprint can easily destroy nature’s handiwork, yet we all want to be able to see and enjoy them. That can lead to a delicate balancing act; I know it has on the Central Coast where water is a precious resource and development has been strictly limited. The restrictions occasionally lead to conflict, but the end result is an opportunity for the public to experience the raw grandeur of nature.
These photos were taken from the terrace of the restaurant of the Ventana Inn in Big Sur when my husband and I had lunch there last month. Every detail of the day was perfect: the food, the weather, the view. There may be other places where the ocean mists obscure the joining of land and sea in such a mystical way, but I haven’t seen them. For me, this place is literally heaven on earth.
Where is your “inevitable place”? If you can’t answer that question, maybe you haven’t found it yet. Keep looking. Special places are all around; you just have to keep your eyes open. Happy hunting!