Less is more (sometimes)

My favorite drive is down coastal Hwy 1 to Esalen, and not just because of the destination.  The roads are twisty, the sun on the sea is exquisite – it’s a thrill all around, dampened only slightly by sourpusses who refuse to use the turnouts.

Beautiful as Hwy 1 is, it’s a little scary, too.  Well, not “scary,” but requiring my full concentration.  On one side … you don’t want to go over the cliff, and on the other, rocks and errant SUVs are always threatening unpleasant contact.  (Actually, a friend did survive  driving over the edge, and another car apparently had taken a plunge just before I passed last week.  But I digress.)

I had an extra day at Esalen, thanks to Abbylicious, and my return trip was at the end of the day, i.e. at night.  To my surprise, I realized I was a little scared of the trip, feeling that a drive requiring full concentration in the daylight must call for superhuman driving at night.  So I passed up (boo hoo!) a last nighttime hot tub to hit the road relatively early.

The drive back was fine, completely uneventful.  It was like any other nighttime drive, not worth comment.  With NPR on the iPod, all I saw for an hour was reflectors limning the road, and taillights in front of me … and then, I was in Monterey.  It was by far my easiest ever drive along that route.

I’d still rather drive the Big Sur Coast when I can see it, but … now I do wonder how often beauty distracts us from doing a good job at the core task at hand.


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