Today we drove the famed California 1 In its most beautiful and twisty stretch. We drove south to the Big Sur area and hiked to Pfeifer falls and then hiked to McWay Falls. The scenery was incredible and the sheer drop offs heart-stopping. Most of the time the maximum speed is 30 to 40 mph, some areas 20. Anything more is foolhardy! This is where one needs the open air Porsche or Ferrari. The road surface is quite good and the twists are fun. My occupants being stodgy oldsters made me drive very conservatively. Bill almost passed out when I went for my camera while driving-I was just passing it to him so he could take the pictures for me. Every curve opened up a new vista. The historic Bixby Bridge was built in 1932 and is every bit as modern today-what an engineering feat. We arrived at Pfeiffer State Park and hiked to scenic Pfeifer Falls. The beauty of the hike is that it ascends through a mature redwood forest. The smell of the pine and redwood mingled with the flora is a special treat. The falls cascade only some 40 feet but the beauty is the path it takes through the boulders and past giant redwoods. We then hiked further to overlook the valley and Cal.1 below us. The brown rolling hills were painted yellow by the wildflowers. We then descended a 2 mile one lane road to secluded Pfeifer beach located in an incredibly scenic cove surrounded by mammoth rocks. The surf crashed with gusto against the towering rocks and giant sprays exploded skyward. The roar was evidence of the power exhibited by nature. There were several tunnels and blow holes to add to the spectacular display. We next had lunch at Cielo at Ventana Mountain Inn atop the mountain of the same name and impressively overlooking the massive Pacific far below. The sky mixed imperceptibly with the ocean and appeared as an endless mass of blue on the western horizon. We sat on the stone patio overlooking the scene under large umbrellas. The decor of the Inn was redwood and stone. The mood created was a beautiful rustic ruggedness. The many colors of flowers surrounded the dining patio and a massive outdoor stone fireplace with an inviting sofa summoned forth romantic images. We enjoyed Tuna Nicoise and Halibut tacos. What a way to dine. With our belly's well nourished we drove to McWay Falls. This was a spectacular way to end our busy day. The falls drop 80 feet off a distant cliff into a pool which empties into the adjacent pacific. The cove and rocks are unbelievably scenic. Originally this area was the home and private domain of Lathrop and Helen Hooper Brown an eccentric wealthy couple from New York who built a limestone mansion here on a cliff overlooking the falls. Helen donated the land to the State of California at her husband's death on the condition that the house be torn down to it's rock patio foundation and the access to the scenic falls and beach be closed to the public. And so it remains incredibly pristine and beckons the spirit within each to create one's own magical place. The drive home retraced our beautiful day.

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