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Quite the World, Isn't It?

Big Sur: Part Two

Things have been a little quiet here on the blog because things have been a little busy on the home front. My in-laws leave today for their home in Rochester, N.Y., after a two-week visit that has been, as usual, a lot of fun. The centerpiece was a three-day trip up the coast -- my second drive of the Big Sur this year.

The Big Sur has to be my favorite slice of California, a state with a lot of beautiful slices, from the High Sierra to Death Valley, the redwoods of Humboldt County, and the singular Mount Shasta. This really is a remarkable state. And huge.

These trips have me thinking I need to go back and re-read Kerouac's Big Sur, which I first read years ago in a Kerouac frenzy -- On the Road, then The Town and The City (his most conventional novel), then Big Sur, if I recall that order correctly. Amid the boozing and hangovers and now dated-feeling beat-speak there is still a core beauty to Kerouac's feel for the life of language:
"Big elbows of Rock rising everywhere, sea caves within them, seas pollocking all around inside them crashing out foams, the boom and pound on the sand, the sand dipping quick (no Malibu Beach here) -- Yet you turn and see the pleasant woods winding upcreek like a picture in Vermont -- But you look up into the sky, bend way back, my God you're standing directly under that aerial bridge with its thin white line running from rock to rock and witless cars racing across it like dreams!"

Later in the same passage he describes "those vistas when your drive the coast on a sunny day opening up the eye for miles of horrible washing sawing."

Makes me want to turn around and drive it again.
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