Sunday, May 16, 2010
Pork Chop Sandwiches at Earth's End
Last Thursday, Ken and I decided to make use of the Big Sur hiking book that Santa stuffed in my stocking this past Christmas, so early that morning we decided to load ourselves into the car and head up Highway 1 to the Southern end of Big Sur.
I've many joys in my life and at the top of that list, I count anything that gives me the chance to ride along this particular roadway up the Northern California Coast. When it's beautiful (heck, it's always beautiful no matter the weather, but there are those days when this drive is more of a white-knuckle event than a pleasure cruise) it's some of the most awe inspiring landscape imaginable.
Our second stop was a little farther north at Redwood Gulch, which from my perspective wasn't that spectacular although there were some magnificent redwoods. Redwood Gulch is actually a memorial spot, but I'm not sure what the history is so I won't venture to write much about it.
We continued on up the coast. I was really interested in stopping at a spot called Jade Beach, but we just couldn't seem to find the marker (I think it was just off the roadside, back where you had to walk up onto it to really figure out that it was there) so that didn't pan out. I did a little reading in my book and it's at the top of my list for adventurous treks and will be the first stop on our return north. Anyhow, it's basically a steep--think 150 foot serpentine trek--to a little rocky cove were you can actually find nephrite jade. In fact, I'm so interested in this particular spot that I've read quite a bit about it from several sources and I've learned that it's a pretty frightening trek and sweat producing, but anything that promises a dramatic sweeping panorama and an opportunity to hang on a narrow precipice above the jagged coast of the Pacific Ocean calls my name. Thus, it's no surprise that our picnic spot was perhaps the most amazing place that I've ever eaten lunch on a Thursday and quite possibly any other day.
Ken pulled the car off into a narrow turn-around parallel to the coast. There were no picnic tables, no walking paths, no real places to repose. In fact, there were really only two clumps of foliage--one in the shade and one in the sun and we chose the sunny spot to throw down our blanket and open our lunch sack. When I say that we were at Earth's edge, I mean that in the most literal sense--we laid upon our bellies, our chins in our hands and our heads hanging over the side of the cliff where straight down, perhaps 150 feet below, the Pacific raged upon the rough rocks below. It was quite fantastic--breathtakingly beautiful and as I remarked to Ken, had there been an earthquake at any point during our repast, we would have been tossed down the cliffs and onto the rocks--how thrilling is that? Our lunch was incredible--leftover pork chops on buttered bread (these were the sandwiches that my grandparents always had tucked in their cooler on a picnic), a container of curried chicken salad, a sleeve of crackers, a bag of cherries leftover from the farmer's market the previous weekend and a handful of potato chips, crumbs and all. A remarkable and yet unplanned lunch; a lunch tossed together from the scraps in the refrigerator just hours before.
It was quite a Thursday.
Posted by missmel at 4:45 PM