Jul31

My PCH Seekender Adventure: It’s My Way or Pacific Coast Highway

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{Wearing: White Boho Dress c/o Kore. Leggings: LuluLemon. Motorcycle Boots: Steve Madden. Hat: Vintage. Photographed By Jorge Camaraza.}

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I sat up like a bolt of lightening, hurling the clean, white sheets off of us and onto the floor. Sheer excitement propelled me out of the comfy Hampton By Hilton bed and onto my feet. Today was it, the day. After arriving in Monterey, today, we’d wind up on the PCH. “Let’s do this, I thought,” as I climbed into my motorcycle boots, the only shoes I’d brought along for the journey. We satiated ourselves at the continental breakfast in the lobby, fueling up for the adventure ahead on homemade waffles and coffee in the brand’s kitschy mouth cups. Afterward, we loaded the saddlebags with our belongings. Come day’s end, we’d land in Pismo Beach, but the road from here to there was a full one, our first official day on the Pacific Coast Highway. As we checked out, we asked for general directions from the concierge, who shared a few tips on things we had to see. We added her suggestions, which included something called Purple Beach, to our agenda. Heading toward the bike outside, we took in the air, the cold, cold air, that lead us to zip our jackets up to our chins and slip on our gloves. Soon enough the engine revved and we headed off to see what we come all this way to do.

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And just like that, there it was, the Pacific Coast Highway. It lie there, this stretch of road, unlike any path of black asphalt I had ever seen before. To call it a street seemed so unfair, if not insulting, like butchering its formal title down to three simple letters: PCH. It was more, so much more. This stretch, lying there, peacefully, all these years, waiting to show us things we had stuck on a list and thrown into a bucket somewhere in the back of our minds, trapped in a “someday” file. Today was that someday—no more waiting to see. As we rode across it, we took in the way it was carved out, placed between cliffs and given spectacular views. Wildflowers rising from patches of green grass gave it a softness, while the jagged edges of cliffs below afforded an air of caution. The waves nipping at the rocky edges, washing away bit by bit of the cliffs that held this road up, were straight down, without so much as a barrier between us and them. This path was old, and yet, still evoked this feeling of freedom, being alive, remaining untouched, completely untamed.

As we rode into Big Sur, there wasn’t a single glance that wasn’t full of the most beautiful scenery my eyes had ever held. Each blink overflowed with perfection: the coast, the sky-blue sky, the deep, blue waters—it was all too much and yet not enough—I never wanted it to end. To see this, to be a part of it, it was an experience, maybe even the experience. You know, that one you wait a lifetime for. Only time will tell. What I do know is this: Some things are best left unsaid, simply because there isn’t a combination of words to give them the justice they deserve. What a camera can capture for the eyes to see is just a taste, a nibble of what it is truly like to be in that place, that time. What I learned from my first moments on the Pacific Coast Highway is this: Life is bigger than computer and camera screens. It’s the 365-degree experience that gives it legs. When it comes to documenting this journey, no matter how much effort, no matter how beautiful the pictures, I can tell you, with all honesty, I failed. I fall short here, in Big Sur, of truly expressing what this place was, is and will be. It’s not something words will ever be able to describe. Not something film will ever truly capture. It’s the real time, in-person experience you have to go out and feel, taste, touch and see for yourself. Mine—a motorcycle, my soul mate and a part of the world that God himself must have patted himself on the back for creating—lives within me from the moment I first saw it until my last. And what an experience it was.

And all of this before we even parked the bike. After doing so, we followed cottontail rabbits scurrying across the path we walked down, ignoring “do not cross” signs to simply get closer to the view. Would we ever see it again? Perhaps. But we treated it as if it were our only time here. Smelling the air, tasting its salt, feeling the cold wind whipping our hair to and fro. We took pictures of it, of us. And we held each other, in this place where as big as our bliss was, we remained ever so small.

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{What does it mean to be a Seekender? As an ambassador for Hampton by Hilton, I have the amazing job of finding adventures in and around its hotels during the course of a weekend getaway. Find out more here: http://hil.tn/1Y0gWK}

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