The Hidden Bench That Scared Marya

this is the hidden bench

I’m not afraid of heights. I love rooftops. I love edges. Or I thought I did, However, I may be full of it because yesterday we sat on a pretty safe bench that wasn’t necessarily that dangerous and it scared the stuffing out of me.

you can kind of see it's not safe here

The bench is just 10 steps off the road on Highway One in Big Sur (it’s just to the north of the new bridge being built near Limekiln). I don’t remember what enticed us to stop… the foggy sky plus glassy ocean, I’m guessing. We stopped. Grabbed our cameras. Got out of the car and were quite happy to see this little bench on the cliff side hidden by a couple boulders.

Steve went right to it and as he sat down the bench immediately rocked forward and made a loud creaking sound. “Come join me,” he said. “No way,” I said.

But I did.

In the next photo you can see the view when looking directly down while sitting on the bench.

this is the way down

Here’s Steve’s short video showing us, the view, and illustrating the loud creak-creak of the bench as it lurches forward while you sit on it.

This is my (lousy) video of the view. I’m shaking in my boots while taking this (regardless of the fact that I’m wearing sandals).

From the secret bench on Highway 1 in Big Sur from emdot on Vimeo.

This would be my scared-as-hell-but-trying-to-hide-it face.

this is my scared face

Below: looking to our right, to the north.

Looking right, to the north

Below: looking straight ahead, to the west.

Looking straight ahead, west

Below: looking left, to the south.

Looking left, to the south

Pfeiffer Beach

Pfeiffer Beach warning

Week 17. June 30, 2013. This beach is a beauty — no question. And the sand is purple (in parts). But on an off day it’s so windy that at times the sand blasts into your skin like little pieces of evil sharp evil things. And the ocean has a rip current that is sneaky and strong and waves come crashing in from three different directions.

Pfeiffer Beach

Yet, people still get in the water. And then they spread their blankets on the beach and pretend that they aren’t experiencing purple sand dermabrasion.

Pfeiffer Beach running from the waves

These kids had it right. Run! Run for your life kids.

Pfeiffer Beach chasing waves

And I shouldn’t joke because people have died at this beach, getting caught unaware by the rogue rip.

Pfeiffer Beach running from waves

We braved the elements, too.

Steve at Pfeiffer Beach

Braving the wind, watching kids run from waves at Pfeiffer Beach

The trees that line the path to the beach are truly beautiful. I love Monterey Cyprus.

Monterey Cyprus at the Pfeiffer Beach boundary

Trees along the walk back to our car

I heard that if it’s windy in other parts of Big Sur, it’s a windstorm at this one. So here’s my advice: if it’s calm, go. Visit. And know that you are experiencing an amazingly beautiful beach on an amazingly beautiful day. If it’s not calm — let’s say it’s a little breezy elsewhere on your Big Sur trip, go. Visit. But go armed with a warm jacket and a hood (not a hat — it will blow off) that you can cinch tight to your head. And know you are experiencing an amazingly beautiful beach with hellish conditions and stay the heck out of the water.

» See other people’s beautiful photos of Pfeiffer Beach on Flickr
» See aerial photos of Pfeiffer Beach

Week 17

Dan’s Big Sur Birthday | Month 1 | Sur a Month

Sur a Month, first of twelve.

Dan’s birthday. Favorite people. Favorite campsite. Favorite place on earth. It was pretty good. Highlights (besides being with these people who make my heart so warm): Shane’s amazing campsite Paella (he made two: one gargantuan and one smaller and vegan), buying a Henry Miller book at the Henry Miller library, singing around the campfire and fully appreciating the new car-camping foam mattresses. First time ever sleeping well in a tent.