Detour to Monterey

Rialta at Laguna Seca

I awoke bright and early this morning—5:30 is the earliest I've woken up voluntarily in years. After committing a couple hours of work, I packed up the RV and headed out. My first stop was one of two gas stations in Big Sur. And at only $5.25 per gallon, it was quite the bargain. The shopkeepers had a certain rural charm and genuine friendly demeanor that I'm not sure I've experienced elsewhere.

My trip was to be simple in form, but burdensome in execution. Two hours driving, according to Google Maps, will carry an automobile from Big Sur to San Luis Obispo. What Google didn't know about was the rockslide and road closure I'd encounter a quarter of the way there.

US-1 runs along the perimeter of the Pacific coast. Outlets are sparse: There are stretches where one can drive forty miles without encountering a road leading inland. I was on one of those very stretches when I reached a "Road Closed" sign and a portly woman informing me (in that very same rural charm and friendly demeanor) that a rock the size of a large vehicle had fallen square into the highway, and that it was to be dynamited later that day.

And so, I set off in the northward direction, anxiously steering the windy, hilly intestine of the California coast. Since I enjoyed my grocery shopping experience in Monterey, I figured I'd set up shop in the area for the week. Monterey itself is quite a lot like all the California cities I've visited: Bright, car-crowded, noisy, yet still charming. I was tempted to try spending the night in my RV on a city street, but my waste tanks needed emptying and I wanted to retire to a peaceful place after the day's driving and working. I worked at a local coffee shop, bought enough groceries to last the rest of the week, and headed to Laguna Seca Recreation Area.

Despite sharing land with a race track, Laguna Seca is a gorgeous hilltop campground with full hookups and just about the best view out your window you've ever seen. I'm very much looking forward to spending my workday atop a hill in the peaceful sunshine.