Thursday, May 12, 2016

Searching for Cypress: Monterey Bay and the 17 Mile Drive

In one drop of water are found
all the secrets of all the oceans.
~Kahlil Gibran

Monterey Bay
January 2016

After a wonderful few days over New Years in San Francisco and Sausalito, it was time to head south. I remembered from a trip I took with my family between 7th and 8th grade, how beautiful Monterey and Carmel were, and most of all I remembered the wind blown cypress trees and cool, salty air of the coastline. 

It has it's own magic, that coastline. I had wanted to do the drive through Big Sur, as well, but it's a very long windy road and it was supposed to rain. So, I decided I would search for my cypress trees in Monterey, and on the famed "17 Mile Drive" which takes you by Pebble Beach, between Monterey and Carmel.

Some beautiful Chopin, for the drive ...


The old "Cannery Rowe" area is pretty touristy. The tip off is when you see that there is a Bubba Gump Shrimp, in the vicinity. In any case, I hopped out of my car and walked around a bit. 

I was also on a quest to find the same tiny charms of the "Lone Cypress Tree" my sister and I had gotten, way back on that road trip with my folks in the old GTO. 

To me
the sea is a continual miracle;
The fishes that swim-the rocks-
the motion f the ways-
the ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?
~Walt Whitman

Some very charming places to stay ...

After stopping a couple of times to to photograph the seascape, I saw the sign directing me to the 17 Mile drive. I actually thought that meant I was getting on it, but it would be much more obvious than this.

Any chance I got to get near the coast and hop out of the car, I did. It was a little strange being by myself in this area.  It felt so mystical with only the sounds of crashing surf, the wind and seagulls, and the sound of my own footsteps and breath as I walked along the shore.

It was otherworldly and familiar, all at the same time and the turquoise of the water, as the waves crested, was incredible amongst all the other muted tones. Breathtaking.

When I arrived at the entrance to the 17 Mile Drive, it was 10 bucks and they hand you a map. See? Very obvious, when you get there. There are different routes to take, but once again, I hugged the Pacific. And, it became more and more magical as the surf and winds became rougher and the clouds darker. Mother nature was in all her symphonic glory!

The map guides you to many places to take in the view, and where you could safely park.  I stopped as many times as I could before it started to rain and the light began to fade.

The voice of the sea
speaks to the soul.
The touch of the sea is sensuous,
enfolding the body in its soft,
close embrace.
~Kate Chopin

When anxious,
uneasy and bad thoughts come,
I go to the sea,
and the sea drowns them out 
with its great wide sounds,
cleanses me with its noise,
and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me
that is bewildered and confused.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

And in the distance ...

The Lone Cypress

I will have a lot of cypress trees to paint.

Every time I stand before a beautiful beach,
its waves seem to whisper to me:
If you choose the simple things
and find joy in nature's simple treasures,
life and living
need not be so hard.
~Psyche Roxas-Mendoza

p.s. I found the cypress tree charms! ;)


donna baker said...

It is as beautiful as I have heard. I can hear the sea. Some day I hope to stay in Carmel.

Rick Forrestal said...

Beautiful shots . . .
my favorite part of the California coast.
Love the smells, sounds even better.
Thanks for sharing.

mezzamezzo said...

Wonderful! I have so many beautiful Pacific coast memories, cormorants and seals, cypress and surf, and your photos were thus doubly captivating.

Loree said...

Just beautiful Lucinda - and Chopin is a great accompaniment. Bubba Gumps bring back memories of my first visit to the US in 2002. We ate at a Bubba Gumps just off Navy Pier in Chicago. I can understand the call of the sea very well. It is always magical and mesmerizing.