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Do nothing in Big Sur and leave exhilarated anyway

By Greg Goodsell
March 24th, 2010
Catholic Online (

In Big Sur, California, wildflowers are throwing accents of color against the hillsides. Monarch butterflies are at nearby Andrew Molera State Park and songbirds are on their annual migration. According to the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, visitors can do absolutely nothing and have a wonderful time.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "That's right. Relax and take in the magnificent beauty of Big Sur. Once you are here there is no reason to do anything more. Replenish your spirit by simply absorbing the weepingly beautiful vistas of Big Sur. Do Nothing in Big Sur and leave refreshed and rejuvenated from head to toe."

National Geographic correspondent James Fallows has waxed eloquently about the rugged beauty of his California coastal childhood home. "In a dry and dramatic western landscape, with every ravine, mesa, and fault line obvious for miles, I felt I was living on a giant relief map or seeing working muscles beneath the fat and skin. The evidence of history made the Earth itself seem an active character.

"I could see the results of volcanoes, deluges, the collision of tectonic plates, as I could back home, the landscape felt alive, and so did I," Fallows says.

"Everything about Big Sur is exotic, starting with its name. The Spanish Californios, in their colonial headquarters in Monterey, referred to the area as 'el grande pais del sur' -- the big country of the south. Anglo Californians of this century made it Big Sur," Fallows explains.

Big Sur enjoys a hospitable climate year round due to its proximity to the ocean. "The cold, deep water of the Pacific chills the summer air below its dew point and creates a second sea, of cloud, which laps against the shore as the real ocean does. As a result, driving along the coast is like flying, passing in and out of clouds."

According to the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, Highway 1 through Big Sur designated American National Scenic Byway & California Scenic Highway, an honor reserved for highways that are so distinctive they are destinations unto themselves.

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