Like most unexpected good things, I wasn’t actually looking for it when I found it.
I was three weeks into the last road trip of this year, a month long trek that took me from Florida to weddings in San Francisco, Tulsa, St. Louis and Lake Tahoe, with an engagement session in Chicago thrown in for good measure. In total I put over 11,000 miles on the rental car in one month. I would say that I’m worn out from driving, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat, so I’m not sure that counts.
This particular moment came during a morning walk in the redwoods while camping in Big Sur, California between weddings. I can’t even describe how beautiful the woods are there, or how quiet everything gets once you walk into them a good distance. The ground is covered with clover everywhere you look. Gigantic redwood trees towering above you, some which have fallen long ago, the trunks of which are now covered with thick, green moss. The smell of the woods, the leaves, the smoke from the campfires back at the campground, and the smell of the salty sea air, as the coast isn’t but a mile or so from you. I tried to take photos of what I was seeing, but no picture could actually capture being there. The crisp morning air, the sounds, the smells. But, knowing that I’d eventually sit down and try to relay the experience to you, the dedicated few that keep up with my ramblings, I wanted to get at least a few shots.
I’d knelt down to take a shot of a random patch of clover, briefly glanced around for the ever-elusive one with four leaves, and instead found one with only one leaf. And lo and behold, it had the shape of a heart. Now, you can feel free to insert your own ” finding love in the most unexpected places” analogy here, but simply the fact that it looked like a heart and was growing quite happily having only one leaf made it pretty cool to me.
I was lucky enough to be able to travel the Pacific Coast Highway in California twice this year. I’ve driven it three times so far, and I’m still in constant awe of the coastline, the little towns along the way, and my favorite spot of all, Big Sur.
There’s one campground in particular that has become my retreat from all things hectic and stressful. It’s got a convenience store, a bar and a restaurant where you can actually get wifi should you need it, and several gorgeous camping spots along the Big Sur river which runs through the middle of the campground. The name of the campground is Fernwood Resort, and if you find yourself anywhere near it, you owe it to yourself to at least spend a night or two there. It’s the one spot that I can honestly remember being completely and totally relaxed this year. Granted, it’s been a really crazy and weird year, but sitting around a campfire when it’s chilly outside, the sound of the river (which is actually more of a creek) running next to the campsite, any number of fellow campers that wander by and say hello, a cold beer and absolutely no cell phone reception, is one of the greatest ways I can think of to relax for a few days in between weddings.
If you do care to venture forth from the campground, you can drive 2 miles down Highway 1 and come to a state park with beach access where you can sit and watch the surf, hunt for starfish in the tide pools, or watch sea lions in the water. It’s honestly one of the most beautiful spots I’ve seen in my travels, and I greatly enjoy it there.
I’ll leave you with a random gathering of some of the shots I took while in that area this year. I’ll admittedly say I am in no way a landscape photographer, but simply shot what I saw.
All the best ~