Day Eleven: San Diego to Big Sur, CA

September 7th
Miles 3560-4015

Today was when I finally started my way up the Pacific Coast Highway to make my way up to Oregon. So I woke up bright and early, said by to my friends and was on my way.

After a full day (nearly 500 miles) on the PCH, I’ve gotta say it is one of the best roads and some of the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen. A good portion of it consists of turns that could rival the Tail of the Dragon, and the views, in my opinion, far surpass it.

It starts off mildly enough. I took I-5 north towards LA to get out of San Diego until I finally hopped on rt. 1. It starts off, pretty much all the way to LA, going through the type of exclusive communities you see on shows like the OC (you actually go through Newport Beach). These are definitely worth a look despite the slow going, but then by Long Beach once you start nearing the greater LA area, it’s just congested, slow, and not particularly interesting. So I got onto some interstates until I was north of LA and then back onto the 1. The last community is Malibu, which was beautiful, but then after that it starts to get really interesting.

It’s at this point that you start to climb up the cliffs that line the Pacific Coast. There are two main types of landscape here. Sometimes you sort of go into the back hills where there are big farms and rolling hills. The scenery looked like I was actually in New Zealand and there was a rotating smell between cow manure and fresh strawberries.

Then when you head west and pop out of the farms onto the cliffs is when you really start to be impressed. The highway literally hugs the side of the cliff sides and there are times when there’s not even a guardrail between you and the hundreds of feet drop down. The turns are going in and out from over the ocean, and it seems like each time you come back out, the view is better than the last one.

Finally the road started getting into some forested areas, which would only be short breaks from the coastline. Here there were some bigger mountains just slightly inland, and I decided to find my camp in one of these state parks, Big Sur.

Unfortunately, it’s not like Texas here where there’s plenty of flat land where I could just pull over my bike, park, and set up camp. So I ended up paying at a campground. It was pretty expensive too, 40 bucks, just for a place to set up my tent but there were bathrooms and even a log cabin style, rustic bar and lounge that also had wi-fi. So who am I to complain?

Related Articles