From Sea to Summit
Running wild in Big Sur, California
Curving south out of Carmel, California, on Highway One, I put the pedal to the metal on my car loaded with two trail runners, a dog ...
Photos by Kevin Steele
Curving south out of Carmel, California, on Highway One, I put the pedal to the metal on my car loaded with two trail runners, a dog and a passel of camping gear. We are headed to Big Sur, where North America takes a topographic tumble into the Pacific Ocean. My foot is leaded by dreams of the trail-running vacation beginning now.
The road soon narrows and abandons most traces of civilization. Our route wobbles left, then wends right before opening to The Big View. A friend told me to grip the steering wheel tight on this highway because Big Sur would blow my mind, and she was right. To our left, orange peaks rake a ragged line across a cloudless sky. On the right, steely ocean waves crinkle toward shore in white-capped creases.
With these views, I want to pull the car over, jump out and run wild. Just four hours ago, I surprised my traveling companion and boyfriend, Bryon Powell, with this trip, giving him just enough time to pack a bag before hitting the road from our home in California's Sierra Nevada foothills. When I tell him I can't wait much longer to run, his response is all I need to hear: "Where do we start?"