“Rolling to Big Sur” is a conglomeration of images from driving the Pacific Coast Highway, hiking Big Sur, many, many years as an endurance athlete, and a picture given to me by a sporting goods store owner.
Rolling to Big Sur
beyond trashed beaches and splintered piers, past windmills and castles, the two-lane road rolls on and on…
snakes between mountains and waters into the horizon, and on the other side of the mountains and waters rolls on and on; miles of grapes plump as plums in perfectly aligned rows are hidden by mountains; obscured by the lip of a cliff, sea lions the size of tree trunks lie at the edge of the waters barking.
this road is not meant for speed.
with 21 miles in the books, kevin’s calves feel as though they’d been injected with napalm. kevin waits for his calves to explode while Martinez plays Titles on the piano 200′ above crashing surf.*
a diamond-shaped sign, an expanse, a sudden drop into the sea. kevin squints at flecks on the water.
it is impossible to smell eucalyptus and monterery pine at 60 mph, even at 30 mph in a convertible, or to distinguish the scent of silver lupine from checker bloom living among the expanse of sea grass.
flecks in the blue-green water are surfers bobbing on white-caps like corks in a bathtub with a two-year-old.
the diamond-shaped sign is painted yellow; in black letters it reads To Hell and Back.
- Pianist Michael Martinez plays the grand piano each year at mile 13.1 of the Big Sur International Marathon.