Cali Travels: From Monterey to Big Sur [Pt. 2]

Monterey was quaint, calm, and full of majesty. My Day 2 travels were solely focused on getting to Pebble Beach, as this was a destination pointed out to me by numerous colleagues before the trip. Now when you think of the name "Pebble Beach" what do you imagine? For me, it would be a beach whose sand was replaced by tiny pebbles....NATURALLY. But as most of my journeys have taught me, most of what I expect to capture from a trip is just a tiny aspect of what awaits me.

Pebble Beach is a gated community, guiding visitors on a 17-mile drive throughout its various "points" of travel. While my Google maps successfully navigated me to the entrance of the beach, I found that the tried and true paper map would be my best guide for the rest of my journey. The beach is mainly known as the home to notable residents such as Clint Eastwood and George Lopez. So essentially, it's a mini Hollywood where the tourists swarm restricted picturesque views, only to be blocked by iron gates where the famous are free to roam in private. This aspect of the area was a large disappointment. While we were given access to calming waters and rocky lands, multiple DO NOT ENTER signs deterred us from perspectives that I knew existed beyond the gates. If there's one thing I've learned as a photographer, it's to ignore those boundaries in order to get that perfect shot.

As seen from my map (below), I quickly nixed all of the golf courses, as that went against my disillusioned mission to find this "pebbled beach." As luck would have it, my trusty Google Maps app lost all signals, forcing me to trust the road to guide me to each outlook, despite my growing anxiety of getting lost on a stranger's property. It actually turned out to be quite a cathartic drive, revealing things in nature that are often ignored if one were used to the surroundings.

 My annotated map of the 17-Mile Drive aka Pebble Beach.

My annotated map of the 17-Mile Drive aka Pebble Beach.

I first stopped at Pescadero Point, featuring (according to the map)"views of Carmel Bay and Stillwater Cove." Super descriptive right? Wanting to give the place a chance, I encountered a very rocky terrain. There were many pelicans and oceanic birds resting on rocks in the distance, along with fallen, dried up trees. It was here where I realized how limiting my visit would be if I allowed a fence to get in my way of a good shot. The result can be seen below.

After checking this marker off my list, I then had the chance to visit The Ghost Tree, The Lone Cypress, and the Cypress Point Lookout.

 Marker #16: The Lone Cypress

Marker #16: The Lone Cypress

 Marker #14: Cypress Point Lookout

Marker #14: Cypress Point Lookout

The highlight of my trip, however, was Fanshell Overlook. It was here that I discovered the Pebble Beach most like what I'd imagined, that of a gritty, yet soothing terrain. The rocks, the waves, the LIFE that this location possessed was unlike any other beach I've encountered.

 Colorful Seaweed

Colorful Seaweed

 Seaweed Cove

Seaweed Cove

Check out more photos from Pebble Beach and Monterey in the gallery.

For the Foodies: If you have a taste for Mediterranean flavors, visit Yafa in nearby Carmel. I had the signature Yafa Salad & Pasta. Yum!

 

For the Winos: DeTierra Tasting Room (conveniently around the corner from Yafa, offers select wine flights for under $20. Quite a deal!

 

Editor's Note: It's taken a lot in me to write this post. I've struggled with my creative process a lot lately, only recently learning that it all doesn't have to be perfect. What creative struggles have you gone through recently? How did you go about fixing them? Let me know in the comments.