Thursday, April 19, 2012

California Coast: An artist's dream come true..

April was bringing another opportunity to explore the California coast, and the chance to explore some new friendships and rejuvenate the ties to old friends, lest they fray given the rigors of lapsed time whilst tending to the many distractions of a busy life.

The opportunity was a RTE (Ride To Eat) in gorgeously scenic Big Sur, a gathering of FJR (and other) riders from Northern California and Southern California, to socialize and revel in the joys of a shared hobby and their love for what's arguably the best super sport touring machine known to man. The FJR. ;)

It was dark clouds and a steady drizzle when we first pulled up and it continued while we were there, so the camera stayed under wraps.
It did clear up a smidge when we were gearing up to ride out, I am generally not good at taking pictures of people, so I don't, but I did take a picture of my photography heroine - shown here atop her Can-Am Spyder she has affectionately named Clifford ( as in the big red dog)!

What a great group of people, the rain and the restaurant seating gestapo did nothing to dampen our spirits, everywhere I turned I saw great big smiles and people having a good time! Great seeing everyone!

Riding about 5 minutes south from our lunch location we were greeted to brilliant sunshine and a spectacularly clear day on the coast. Tyler and her entourage had left a few minutes before me and I found them again at what is in my eyes an absolute must see when you are in Big Sur - McWay Falls!

[On this round of photography, I was attempting to find an expressive medium somewhere between the sharpness of detail of a photograph and the rougher texture and coarser detail of a painting. I had been playing with some creative settings on the camera to achieve such an effect. I have still much to learn however, as I didn't always succeed. :) ]

Lost the entourage here again, as I lingered at the vista while the others motored off. It was a mixed experience with polite car drivers moving over to let me pass and oblivious monkeys in cages who insist on driving 35 mph. I was still able to find some good stretches of pavement to stretch the FJR's fast legs on..

Right past Nacimiento Rd, is one of my usual spots to photograph on the coastal highway, although I never stop here, just take a moving shot and it comes out different every time. :)

Caught up with the entourage again and rode into Cambria, where we parted ways. Most of the players from the Big Sur RTE were staying overnight in Cambria, I was heading further south for the weekend..

It had been a late start after lunch and the sun was making a dive towards the horizon as I reached Santa Barbara, I veered towards my usual dinner location on Stearns Wharf, watching the boats bob on the water..

Would you go sailing in that?

...and enjoying my dinner of fried everything and Coleslaw, while watching the sunset..and then continued on to North San Diego county in the dark..

It was an abundance of sunshine the next morning, perfect for finding some scenic hiking trails. I tried my luck at some trails in the desert landscape, inland of San Diego, hoping for some bursting of colors in the blooming wildflowers, but there were very few to be found..

Headed back to the coast and met some Texans along the way..

Found some great hiking trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve, not strenuous at all, but incredibly scenic. One of the only two places in the world where you will find the rare Torrey Pines (the other is on Santa Rosa Island off the coast of Santa Barbara), once part of a coastal forest which spanned the Southern California coast, but slowly succumbing to the 'natural' drying of the climate over tens of thousands of years and receding to these nature reserves..

A view of the Torrey Pines State Beach from one of the bluffs.

Found an artist, capturing the beauty of the Torrey Pines. It begged the questions - Does art immortalize life? Is art immortal?

Beautiful coastline wrinkled with the ripples of time, wind and water!

A miniature Grand Canyon meets the ocean..

The water is nice! What are you waiting for? :)

It was soon time to head was time too soon! I decided to take the scenic way home once again, it would turn out to be a very long day, but so much better than the dull drone of a run on I-5.

Couldn't avoid the slab to Santa Barbara, but took a detour on Foxen Canyon road. Encountered some typical scenery on Foxen Canyon road - blooming mustard!

Some interesting road kill..

And old barns at the foot of rolling hills...

Rode into Morro Bay and headed towards the two most famous landmarks in town.

It was a 'smoky' and very windy day along the coast, felt like gale force winds trying to topple me sideways, plus it was later in the afternoon, not the best time to photograph the east face of Morro Rock, but oh well!

Uncertain future for the Morro Bay power plant.

Made a momentary stop to see the Elephant Seals lazing around. Made me think of one of the shortest jokes I have ever heard - "Baby seal walks into a club.."  *chuckle chuckle*

Anyhow, I wasn't the only one gawking at all that blubber..

Rode on and found more scenic backdrops to park my FJR in front of..

.. and to take some moving shots of, while getting sideswiped by the wind.

On my run south I had spotted (hard to miss) this explosion of color on the side of the highway, I hadn't stopped because I was running on a tight timetable so as not to keep my hosts waiting for me into the night. On my run north, it was almost 5pm in the afternoon when I made it here.

This is also where I had a run-in with a cranky resident who ordered me off the 'driveway'. Fair enough, I respectfully apologized and parked alongside the highway and took some pictures (more like went shutter crazy-happy), whilst staying off 'his driveway'! Sometimes I bring out the best in people! :)

One more.. :)

I made one last stop at McWay Falls to take my last photograph of the day. It is an amazing game of shadow and light and how they change the colors and textures the camera captures on different days and times..

Imitation is the best form of flattery, so here you go Tyler, thanks for teaching me how to frame shots! :)

Thank you for reading! :)


  1. I love the mini grand canyon, of course I adore waterfalls and the cat- lol very beautiful. Spring is here! Thanks for posting! (and wtf with the grumpy guy and his driveway? Worth it for the photos- it is like wearing skimpy clothes and getting bent when guys look. Jeez!)

  2. I'm jealous!! One of my dream trips is to ride the PCH from So Cal up to North California. Great pictures!!!! Especially love the one of the FJR parked along side the cliff over looking the ocean!

    Amy Christine @

  3. I'm jealous!! One of my dream trips is to ride the PCH from So Cal up to North California. Great pictures!!!! Especially love the one of the FJR parked along side the cliff over looking the ocean!

    Amy Christine @

  4. Thanks Amy! :)

    You will love the California Coast. Early spring is a perfect magical time to explore the myths and legends of Big Sur on the central California coast. Although the north coast might still be a bit chilly (which it always is no matter the time of the year), your best bet for crisp clear days on the Cali coast is early spring and winter. I prefer spring! :)


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