Out in America: Big Sur
Submission by Tom Goss, TNG contributor
Tom Goss is a singer-songwriter based in Washington, DC. His songs and videos continue to capture the hearts and minds of the LGBT community and abroad. Tom is currently on a 10-week, 50 city national tour. For more information visit www.tomgossmusic.com
Check his new column every Monday at 2 p.m.
Almost ten years ago my buddy and I embarked on a mostly foolish but very exciting journey to bike New Zealand. There was a lot that I took away from that trip but more than anything I remember the views of the ocean from the Western shore of the South Island. I was told over and over again that there was no other view like it in the world. Eventually locals would recant, “Well, maybe in Big Sur.” Ever since then I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to drive the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and make a judgment for myself. This May I finally got the chance to do just that.
The Big Sur stretch of the PCH is bookmarked by San Francisco and Los Angeles, two cities that couldn’t be further apart in many ways. When I arrived in San Francisco for my show I was greeted by a venue that wasn’t open. Needless to say, we weren’t sure what to do. After 90 minutes of waiting, the manager showed up, doors opened and everyone started pouring in. I was lucky enough to share the stage with local gay songwriter Jeb Havens. I was blown away by his live performance and how open and kind he was. As I mentioned in my last post I’m very excited about the new artists that I meet as I travel.
As you already know, there is something about San Francisco that is magical. I have no idea what it is, I just wish I spent more time there. The show was amazing, in many ways the highlight of the tour up to that point.
The next morning we got up and headed south. It’s hard to describe how majestic this coastline is. It’s more than mountains. It’s more than the ocean. I feel like I’m regurgitating a silly cliché when I say it’s where the ocean meets the sea, but that’s the closest I can come to explaining what it is. Oh, and it’s full of giant redwoods. How could I forget to mention that?
The two-lanes of the PCH run right at the edge of the California coast. It runs close as it can to the ocean without falling off the edge. So close in fact that on many occasions you encounter a chunk that actually has fallen into the ocean. With the guide of temporary stoplights, the highway shrinks to one lane and people take turns passing. At every turn you experience a view that you didn’t think possible at the last turn. As you gawk, groups of sea otters play, and bark, in the ocean a hundred feet below.
As the expanse of blue collides with the lush green mountains it’s hard not to feel very small. Honestly, most of this traveling makes me feel very small. There is so much out there that is bigger than anything I am doing. I feel very lucky to be able to experience part of it.
Just in case you were wondering, I can confirm that the views at Big Sur are as beautiful as New Zealand, if not more so. If you haven’t been figure out a way to get there. Simple as that.
Where to eat: Well you don’t have many options and food (and gas $5.69 when I was there) is at a premium. Check out Nepenthe for the best view in the world.
First time here? See what we're all about... Get involved... Send us a tip!...