This little ride is “not” about the Big Sur section of California Highway 1.
This ride is about a rock and roll rollercoaster connecting a chain of deer paths with a feeble ribbon of wilderness asphalt. Your back door is wider than some sections of this amusement park excursion.
No. This ride is not about California Highway 1 at all. But it does start there.
More specifically, it starts about 25 miles south from the Big Sur Bakery: Our ride is about Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.
Amidst the splendor of the Pacific Ocean, and the grandeur of the Santa Lucia Mountains within Los Padres National Forest, this road starts out narrow. And then gets much narrower. Fortunately there are no guardrails to constrict our space as we do some motorized mountain climbing from sea level to about 2700 feet. No cruise control needed here.
Want to admire the tremendous scenery of these mountains crashing down into the Pacific? Then it’s best to stop. This byway leaves very little margin of error before one might disappear into spectacular oblivion. Did I mention there are no guardrails?
When we make it over the mountain apex we snake our way deep into the forest of switchback mania, slaloming left and right and up and down and all around. The meandering asphalt follows the Nacimiento River which gurgles its way down through the mountains, wandering through the soul and solitude of Mother Nature (and a few National Forest campgrounds).
Makes you kind of pleased Big Brother has presented us with such a parcel of public land and even tied it with such a beautiful bow of motorcycle asphalt ribbon.
But wait. Big Brother has provided even more! Albeit at the price of showing our license, registration and insurance to a US Army Military Policemen: “Welcome to Fort Liggett Army base.”
It’s rather interesting to find ourselves communing with nature and commuting with the military. After a few questions and verification of papers, we’re on our way through peaceful countryside (interspersed with a few tanks apparently set up on this day for mock battles). The two-lane roadway through the base is typical of any other, but it sure seems like a super highway compared to the forest trail we just came through.
Now we’ve got nothing but pleasant, country roads to take us over to Highway 101.
Ready for another rock and roll rollercoaster? Heck, let’s turn around and head back. We can even ride that famous California Highway 1 along the Big Sur coast!