Bright orange poppies dotted the way down south along Highway 1 and cropped up among the railroad ties that ran alongside us. Swaths of mustard flower electrified the fields, despite heavy fog in Pacifica and Half Moon Bay. Santa Cruz flashed by like so many VW vans. We stopped for a drink at Nepenthe and sat outside looking out across the Pacific, impossibly big, impossibly blue. Big Sur seems so far away once you’re there.
One of the many bridges on that twisted stretch of Hwy 1, which hugs the mountains above the ocean in a precarious way, was totally taken out by landslides in March. The rebuilding is scheduled to be finished in 2013. A lot of work goes into building a bridge, spanning nothing with something. The exposed infrastructure under the surface hangs above sheer cliff and water, so delicate. When the day is done, the construction workers hang the large metal toolboxes above the unfinished bridge from their cranes, keeping the valuables out of reach, like a treasure chest.