DISCLAIMER: Neither GrowlerWerks Nor The Inertia Condone Driving Under The Influence.
There was absolutely zero operation of any vehicle while inebriated nor was anyone under the influence while exploring the beautiful landscapes of Big Sur. Enjoy.
We got delayed. Taking off from Los Angeles in the afternoon meant that much of the scenic drive to Big Sur was going to have to be done in the dark. It didn’t matter. I was psyched just to get on the road, and the forecast looked all time.
Big Sur holds a special place in my memory bank. When I graduated high school as a newly minted 18-year-old, a few friends and I decided we’d road trip up the coast in a borrowed 12-seater van (the kind rented by soccer teams for tournaments or used by airport shuttle services). We drove from Huntington Beach to San Francisco, stopping in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, and SF, then back again.
It was the first time I’d seen, much less driven the winding roads that sit atop the steep crags that are the hallmark of the Big Sur landscape. Only two years into driving, with three months to burn before college, all of us were wowed by what stood before us – a taste of what was out there for us to discover.
Years later my friend Casey asked if I wanted to do a quick mission up to Big Sur to camp overnight and surf in the morning. I was in. No questions asked.
The next morning when the sun came up Big Sur revealed her beauty, and we began a hunt for waves.
We trekked north and didn’t see much. Once we got to the Bixby Bridge we decided the opportunity to chow some food and have an early morning beer with an incredible view was something we couldn’t pass up. The uKeg growler turned the back of my Honda Element into a taproom, and the view was something from out of a movie. We didn’t want to leave.
For added drama, I got cajoled into hanging my feet off the bridge. Also, not recommended (I almost shit my pants).
After a bit we decided to jaunt back down south through the park, and pulled up where a number of other cars were stopped along the road – surf brand stickers on their bumpers.
It must have been fate. As I parallel parked I looked in my rearview to see a gaggle of other surfers unloading. “Hey! I know those guys!” I told Casey. A bunch of dudes I went to high school with were gearing up to walk down a trail to surf. We chatted for a bit and they headed down. Casey and I grabbed our boards, and marched down the trail a few minutes later.
We ran into our friends at the bottom of the path. “It sucks, man,” they said. “We’re gonna go on a hike instead.” It’s true. It was absolutely flatter than a pancake bad. What’s worse, the setup was all time. The potential of the place was easy to imagine.
Unlike getting skunked on other trips, this one didn’t sting all that bad. It was hard to forget the incredible views we took in like sponges as we wound up and down the coast. For all intents and purposes, even if you don’t get waves on a trip to Big Sur, there’s still a 100% chance of scoring. Highly recommended.
Written By: Dylan Heyden – The Inertia
Make sure you call ahead of time to reserve a campsite.