Postcards From Big Sur, California

Posted by Mark S, September 30, 2014
Mark Sommerfeld

By: Mark Sommerfeld (Boondock Agency)

“Big Sur is a dream of freedom. For in the past decade each year tens of thousands of the disaffected young have made their pilgrimage here seeking the mysterious freedom and fulfillment which Big Sur seems to mean to them…but the reality seems to be that many are called to Big Sur but few are chosen to find themselves here. Big Sur eats up the pilgrims and spits them out.” This is a passage from ‘A Short History of BIG SUR’ by Ronald Bostwick.

Mark Sommerfeld

This was my third time to Big Sur and my first time realizing it exists more as an idea than a pin on a Google Map.

My first time in Big Sur was with an ill friend, a sort of end-of-days vacation. The second was with my best friend Oliver and we did the entire drive at night, driving through what seemed to be our very own snow-globe of stars. Both experiences were meaningful but less illuminating than the most recent. (To be clear, I recognize how fortunate I am to have been there at all).

Mark Sommerfeld

This time, my girlfriend Tonya and I rented a 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia and drove slow because we had a week with Albie (as named by it’s previous owner), who was old and slow, though not at all not lacking in the charm department.

A photo of Big Sur can plant a seed in the center of your dream machine. Being there in the flesh not only waters the seed, it mega-morphs the seed into a sprawling redwood that takes root in your heart and leans on your gut. It’s heavy. You may experience dizzy spells, nausea and confusion, an inability to speak, or an inability to stop shouting loud, inaudible melodies, unadulterated bliss and/or all of the above.

Mark Sommerfeld

It’s brazen to expect to know how to handle oneself amidst the barrage of unrelenting, heart-stopping vistas, and sun that beats through the brisk mountain air into everywhere you didn’t know your body craved sunshine.

I still don’t quite know how to describe the idea of Big Sur but suffice it to say it stays with you everywhere you go and constantly reminds you of your size (which for us fortunate few is a gift [wrapped in ocean mist]).

Posted in: Hotel + Travel