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  • Writer's pictureMichael Kennedy

Morgan & Mike's Manic Adventure

We were captivated by this little solitary hut with its red framed door. It stood alone and proud along the dramatic Big Sur coastline, thick fog on one side, sun on the other, surrounded by massive cliffs cascading into the Pacific. We had no desire to drive further or see more. The hut, the sun, the fog, the grass, and the cliffs were so alive they tugged at our senses like a rip current, yet calmed the imagination.

This moment represents Big Sur as I see it: eternal, overwhelmingly simple, yet exceedingly dramatic, infinite beauty, perfection. Complete.

But Morgan and I didn't complain about the changing, timeless landscape as we drove along the coast which continued revealing more of its complex geology, volcanic rock, and mountains towering over five thousand feet above the swirling shades of blues and blue-greens of the ocean below.

We were in another dimension of wow! unlike anything we've ever experienced together. Morgan and I were on a "manic" road trip after all. And if I'm taking my daughter on a road trip, it's going to be manic.

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

~ Photographer and environmentalist, Ansel Adams

Big Sur is known for being among the nation's most majestic meetings of land and sea. To me, it's the jagged edge of heaven.

Author and long-time resident, Henry Miller cast Big Sur as an earthly paradise:

“The face of the earth as the Creator intended it to look.”

Morgan and I had the good fortune to experience this wonderland in early August 2021. We felt the lush ferns against our arms, chaparral and coastal scrub on our feet, and the warmth of summer sunshine on our faces. We enjoyed the smell of salt air, beached kelp, and the stink of seal scat. And we watched fog crawl over the Santa Lucia Mountains which plunged into the raging Pacific below. It's impossible to feel, smell, and see something this grand and not be moved in a deeply personal way.

I hope Morgan remembers this trip forever, as I surely will, and we make it a regular outing when she comes to visit.

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