• Michael Kennedy

Big Sur: Intense Tranquility


"Surely no more beautiful and spiritually uplifting coastline exists on this earth."

~ Ansel Adams


"The place itself is so overwhelmingly bigger, greater, than anyone could hope to make it that it engenders a humility and reverence not frequently met with in Americans," reflects Henry Miller. "There being nothing to improve on in the surroundings,

the tendency is to set about improving oneself."



"The California that men dreamed of years ago... this is the face of the earth

as the Creator intended it to look." ~ Henry Miller



Big Sur: a Timeless, Living Eden; the Jagged Edge of Heaven. Bixby Bridge, pictured above, was completed in 1932. It remains one of the world's largest single-span concrete arch bridges (714-feet-long, rising 260 feet above Bixby Creek). Fortunately, a protected two-lane scenic highway, Highway 1, minimizes development and commercialization possibilities along Big Sur coast and the towering Santa Lucia Mountains.


"An inviting land - but hard to conquer. It seeks to remain unspoiled, uninhabited by man."

~ Henry Miller, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch


Looking out from the terrace of Nepenthe, 808 feet above the Pacific, where the mountains dissolve into the sea. Nepenthe is one of Big Sur's first restaurants & bars located near the Henry Miller Memorial Library, which opened in 1949. Nepenthe is an ancient Greek word meaning an elixir for sorrow, a “drug of forgetfulness.” Orson Welles bought the cabin as a gift for his new bride, movie star and World War II pinup girl Rita Hayworth.


Henry Miller, Ernest Hemingway, Joan Baez, Kim Novak, Steve McQueen, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor are just some of the famous people who enjoyed these same views. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor performed scenes for the 1965 film, “The Sandpiper” at Nepenthe.


Big Sur is a place of intense tranquility. It's the ultimate muse for the writer and artist. Makes you smile from deep within. Tickles your soul. Gives hope.







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