Big Sur :: Pfeiffer State Park to Ragged Point


Big Sur, California

The ride through Big Sur was spectacular.  With the Santa Lucia mountains to the east of us, the Pacific to the west and the sun shining down on us, it was hard not to have huge smiles on our faces, despite all of the intense climbing.

In fact, I discovered, quite by accident, that I climb better with a smile on my face.  It’s true!  After leaving Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park I cursed my way over the first couple of climbs of the morning (they were long and ugly) and was generally not having much fun, but as we continued on, and we tipped over each climb only to be dazzled by yet another gorgeous view, I started to snicker in disbelief over how lucky I was.  To be in a place I’d never been to before, climbing mountains in the ideal weather, breathing in the fresh air, surrounded by this landscape, with my partner……and why exactly am I being grumpy?!  And so, I smiled.  It was during the next big climb that I realized that I actually breathe better when I have a smile on my face.  I tested my theory out repeatedly and found that if I’m smiling (or at least imitating a smile) I can breathe easier and more evenly, and therefore, get tired less quickly on climbs.  I’m sure people driving by thought I was insane, climbing those mountains, with my face red, sweat pouring off of me, all the while a huge smile plastered across my face as if I were enjoying it!  The thing is, I was enjoying it.  Immensely.


Trust me, I’m smiling.



Were going to stop at the Henry Miller Library but when we got there they were closed.


Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn, where we filled our water bottles.



Bixby Creek Bridge

We were very excited to camp in Kirk Creek Campground, on a cliff overlooking the coast, and we rolled in just before sunset, grabbed the first site we found, quickly pitched the tent and then sat back and enjoyed the sunset.



The next morning we woke and started climbing again, but the task was made easier when Kai noticed four gray whales off the coast.  Migrating south, to the lagoons of Mexico, they captivated us and as we climbed we watched the horizon intently, waiting for their tell-tale spouting.  They really motivated us to keep moving up and over, again and again, so that we could ride alongside them for part of the day.


It’s hard to get a whale on camera but you can see the spouting here


Mudslide repair on a mountainside


Think you’re job is hard? You could be the guy hanging from the side of a mountain that is prone to slides! See that yellow speck?

That’s Kai, climbing through Big Sur.



We made it to Ragged Point, where we caught another stunning sunset and a good night’s sleep.







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