A Father’s Day Idyll, or, Picnic at Mud Creek

I decided to spend Father’s Day on an audacious outing. If you follow west coast news, you may know that some millions of tons of earth slid into the ocean along the famous Hwy. 1 area at Mud Creek south of Big Sur (and about 30 miles north of where I live) on May 20, burying the highway and closing the south end of the road. The north end was already closed from when the Pfeiffer Bridge washed out during the winter storms.

Right now a 12-mile stretch remains in the middle of the area accessible only by means of a harrowing mountain road that is one lane wide in places, with long drops down a cliff if you miss a turn or make a mistake. (No guard rails.) Naturally I had to take this road, and visit the scene. This stretch of Hwy. 1, one of the great drives on the planet, is now nearly empty except for a few intrepid souls who have come to camp for a while, and it’s like stepping into a post-apocalyptic zombie movie. Picnic at Mud Creek anyone? Or maybe you’re familiar with Incubus, a horror movie shot near here around 1965—the only movie ever shot in Esperanto, starring—I’m not making this up—William Shatner. You have to see it, not to believe it. Anyway, I kept looking over my shoulder for the ghouls from that film to sneak up behind me.

Here are a quick couple of minutes I’ve thrown together:

The road is expected to be closed for a year or more.


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