Intermission: Video [12]

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Past Trips – California – Big Sur [12]

The latter part of the day, route one and route one was back right by the coasts side, it was that part of the day, i was driving and though i wont do it justice here it was amazing.
The car radio blurted out various chipper pop songs, some familiar, some not and a bunch of other stuff that filled the background, while the road had narrowed up and pealed around cliff tops and coast lines. Everything to our left was blue, blue skies, blue water in great expanse.

If work is a bit shit or other things of minor inconvenience absorb you back home then in such places at such times they cant stretch out to these places. I’d been looking forward to this part of the day, been selfishly hoping to be driving this part and imagining what it might be like, dodgy ground for often inflated expectation have no place to go but to find reality unable to exceed to such demands. Not today.

Route 1 Road Pacific Side

Road and Cliff Top View Pacific Ocean

Cliff Top Route One California

Route 1 California Sea SideCalifornia Route 1

Jeep Route One

California Flying Bird

Flying Bird California

Pacific Ocean California

Pacific Ocean Route One

We stopped off more frequently along this stretch. A wooded bit allowed us to leave the car with the shade, others had parked up, dumping their vehicles along the the side of the road, which also flagged up the notion that this might be a place to be stopping off.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Sign
Cove And Ocean

Big Sur Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean Cove Big Sur

There wasn’t a great variety of things to see here but what there was looked like it came straight out of some sort of pirate movie.

Along the road Mitch in his role as the person with little to do / radio operator, noticed people were not only stopped but that they were peering intently out to sea. We stopped swiftly our interest peaked.

There was something out there, the intent filled eyes of the onlookers, the occasional puffs of water vapor, we were convinced but unsighted and moved on, even me with my one driving eye had the other trained out to sea, which probably had Mitch a tad unnerved as the mighty Jeep ploughes around rather tightly woven cliff edge corners….any on comers, hello …. We stopped, we stopped some more

Whate and Vapoir Plume Big Sur

Big Sur Whale Big Sur

Big Sur Pacific Ocean Whales
Pacific Big Sur Whale

Close To Shore Whale
Not A Rock – Emerging From The Water

Whale Big Sur

Whale California

I know nothing about whales, so i have no clue what was popping up from the deep, but it wasn’t a fish, they don’t pop up, they have no toast like instincts. So they were mammal types and being found all to close to shore to be of the largest, yet they weren’t small, not if they could initially be mis-perceived as rocky peaks protruding from the depth. In Iceland that spring i’d been on a boat in apparently whale rich waters with the distinct purpose of seeing something big and whale like for the first time, nothing, a whole lot of deep dark sea and some moments of porpoise emergence apparently.. these went quite unseen as well.. something once showed us its back in the waves, but it submerged quite swiftly.

We kept stopping, that wondering ocean inspecting eye continuing its efforts to spot something out there. That though was the closest encounter and though largely through a zoomed lens, it was quite the thing.

Past Trips – California – Heading To Big Sur [11]

California Dust Farming Spraying Truck

Rural Housing CA USA

Roadtrip USA Flag Sightseeing
Canadian and proud.

Posh boy Brits started the ski tourism in Switzerland – so caution was called for:

Swiss Flag Matterhorn Zermatt
They Shall Not Make Off With Our Matterhorn – Tallest Flagpole & The Perspective Denial #outfoxed

Steering Wheel Hand Shot Of US FLAG
So confused – where the hell are we !!

An interesting looking place appeared on our left as we rounded a corner, a big old train carriage, nowhere particularity close to any tracks, which looked very much like it had been converted into a diner. We saw a number of these on our route, this was the first and we stopped for lunch.
I ordered a wrap i think, if memory serves (which all to often it does not) but unlike back here they didn’t begrudgingly offer up both a wrap and some sample of what the filling might have looked and tasted like had it been present.. here it came will all manner of unannounced guest appearances.. a mini-chilli on the side, i think there were chips and salad… i hadn’t been hungry too start with, stopping having been Mitch’s idea.. It was quite the struggle.
I’d been boring and ordered a coke with it, you know where you are with it, if your unwell or hung over it sends what ales you scurrying for safety, if your well then its going to intoxicate your system with a sugar overload and hall raft of wholly untoward and unnecessarily present pollutants that probably ought not pass the fit for human consumption test.. but you know where you are with it.. only i didn’t, this wasn’t like the coke i was used to, for possibly the first time i could understand why this stuff was quite so popular.. Less sweat, less syrupy, cleaner crisper taste, this was actually quite nice..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27289259
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/not-quite-the-real-thing-cocacolas-secret-formula-is-out-of-the-bottle–but-can-the-famous-flavour-be-recreated-at-home-8621636.html

And although totally contextually irrelevant:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11390699

The point – the Coke was good, the food unexpectedly abundant and assorted, it was also quite nice. Mitch had opted for something more local, root bear or something, tasted like an unidentified generic cough syrup.. how do i know? the disgruntled tortoise recoiling its head look on his face, was followed by a disdainful shove of the glass with a suggestion i try it also. With all that verbal and non-verbal recommendation ringing out, how could i refuse ..

Train Carriage Diner California

Rather full and having made use of the facilities to unburden in preparation for the next stint, we departed.

California Farming Fields

California Farm House and Fields

Sea Side Route One California
Getting Back To The Coast

Route 1 California

Another previously unfamiliar but now seared into our unconscious core tune rolled back round .. Mitch attempted to join in on the chorus, as the road dropped down once more and arced around a cove. By now the sky had long since cleared off all clouds, bright blue skies meeting the bright aquatic blue of the pacific ocean.

Route One Coast California

Route 1 Coast California

Past Trips – California – I Feal The Need, The Need For …. [10]

FLAGs – but not quite yet.

I had loaded up my stuff into the Jeep and was ready to head off.  When Mitch had completed his run back to Santa Barbara center and back, had some breakfast and freshened up, we were ready to move on.

We took the small side roads down to the coast at Santa Barbara, having not made it that far by foot the day before, when dinner was calling and time had run itself down a little more than expected.

Route Map Picture
Santa Barbara Coast
Santa Barbara Man Sleeping Beech
Santa Barbara - Beach Hut Santa Barbara Crud On The Beach

While the skies were overcast, it was still a surprisingly unenticing sort of a beach.  Though not for the gulls who seemed quite at home among the general organic crud that was washed up about the place.  The over cast skies

Route One California Big Sur Route Map
Route – Pretty Much

The intention was not too remain here, just to take a look around before moving on – we move on.  It was Morning and the way that driving days went had somehow already set itself, in the morning hours and earlier parts of the day Mitch was driving, the second half of the days I drove, it was the general way of things.  Today the afternoon had a particularity interesting promise about it, i was already looking forward to it.

Hills And Clouds California

Side Roads CA Side Roads CA 2

There seemed to be evidence of the drought which the local chap had spoken off on the flight over, on the map there was a lake, in reality there was a some water when viewed from a certain angle, it was off in the distance but what had clearly once been Cachuma lake (according to the maps) was now grassed over in away that suggested that water had not occupied that space for quite some time.

Cachuma Lake Santa Barbara CA-154 Dried Out Water Free Cachuma Lake

Old Farming Equipment CaliforniaOld School Rusted Farming Equiptment CaliforniaUPS Lorry Roadtrip California

Farming Fields CACalifornia Brown Dust Fields

Farming Dust BrownTrucks Trains Rural California Freight Train California California Train Park Freight

At this point one thing was clear – no a few thing were and they related to the radio, the first was there was a whole lot of stations.. stations specialising in genres – Rock, Country, probably Jazz & Classical somewhere – stations dedicated to dedicated to various decades throughout the 19XXs’ .  There were also quite the assortment of more general radio stations, many of them specialising in very little DJ chatter, wall to wall music.  The none driver would take photos, operate the radio and generally look about a bit more than the driver, at this point in the day that was me, the more ardent and photo inclined passenger.

They had stations like this in Austria, where you could wait an hour and around would come a familiar set of tunes, only there weren’t so many to escape into and the music seemed to specialise much more on a particular decade – 80s anyone. We have them in the UK also to be fair only there are more adverts, the DJs alter the running order a bit but they go and talk and share all the interesting things.. given the scarcity of interesting things they could think about offering up less of them at any one time.

The second radio and music based point that was becoming clear was, that all the station jumping fine DJ work done by the co-pilot / person with no defined role at this time – but enjoying the chilling out – would eventually lead to one of a few places.  Lead among these few places, was one song that rose above all others, as it seemed evident that at any given time it would be enthusiastically lining itself up on one or more radio stations, to be next on the rolling play cycle..   The default theme song, popcorn chipper in the sunshine backing track to the road trip, the inescapable tune that would not be avoided.

At around about this point in the journey one thing else was about to become clear, there were a whole lot of people who were well into their flags around here.  One flag in particular, their seemed to be quite the group think going on with regard to this particular topic.

They have flags in Switzerland and some of them even fly from a flag pole, these are the two levels and they stand quite apart from each other, the person who feels the need to flag up and the person who is so taken with the notion that they go out and get themselves a flag pole erected somewhere on their territory.

In the UK there are some that do the former, as much as i’ve been able to tell they live in Runcorn – except during world cup times.. not that they leave the St George enthusiasts of Runcorn, but more that for this brief  juncture (and it is reliably brief) their numbers swell well beyond these boundaries … after the second group stage match when the denial of inevitable humiliation has ritually passed, those number swiftly deflate once more and shrink back to their dormant dwelling state.

Flag poles, excluding use of radio antenna during world cups, well they are taken to say something about a person.  Few are those who see themselves clear to that sort of thing, except for the government, they do go town with that, state occasional and the Mall in London – it does actually looks quite nice as a flurry of colours.. Guess we had to do something with all those flags once we done using them to go about the place claiming things.

Turkey State Flag Union Jack London Mall London Mall Flag Union Jack

Perhaps then these people were just being prepared, so people like me coming over here would think twice before undoing all that fine work in establishing an independent state by the means of planting one of those Union Jacks (or whatever the Swiss one is called – the inverted red cross) that we keep handy in our back pockets for just such occasions.

This part of the world it was prepared ..

USA Flag on a wall
Where are we … oh yes thanks ..
US Flag On A Pole
I’m where … o .. thats right, so forgetful – thanks.
Star Stripes Flag Town
So we are in the USA then.
Not Canada FLAG TIME
Not Canada – you’re totally sure this isnt Canada?