The mornings have been spectacular this week along the Carmel coastline as fog drifts over Point Lobos(upper right corner) and the infamous Monastery Beach–that strip of sand next in the center next to Point Lobos. I took this photo from Carmel River State Beach. Monastery Beach is right by Highway One, making it incredibly easy for people to park on the side of the highway by the sand. Unfortunately, it is often windy here and the undertow is deadly–drownings are too frequent at what some people call Mortuary Beach.

I first came to California some 50 years ago on a warm September day, driving a beat up VW. I stopped at Monastery Beach because it was right there at roadside. The sand was rough and the wind came in hard bursts. I left. Twenty minutes later I was in Big Sur Country for the first time. The beaches were magnificent. I stayed.

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