With Big Sur unreachable from the north and intermittently from the south after a March 16 road collapse and several subsequent rockslides, life here moves slowly. Residents and visitors eager to reach — or leave — homes, campsites or restaurants along the Pacific had to brave the narrow lanes and switchbacks of Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.
The road winds west past the abandoned tanks scattered across Fort Hunter Liggett before connecting with Highway 1 just south of Kirk Creek Campground.
This smoothly paved but narrow road winds through the valley of Fort Hunter Liggett. Checkpoints exist at the entrance to the Army base where security personnel may inspect drivers' licenses, car registration and insurance papers; they were unmanned Friday.
Two short single-lane bridges on the base take drivers over creeks now swollen with runoff from recent rains. Large live oaks line the two-lane road as it winds into the Los Padres National Forest. A few snow-capped mountains along the Santa Lucia Range are visible in the distance, but gurgling ditches and blooming wildflowers line the road.
Big Sur is virtually without tourists and motorists. But most businesses have stayed open. Experienced campers have come anyway.
The trip from King City (located on US 101) to Highway 1 took about two hours Friday morning, including about 25 miles on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. Travel times were longer as the weekend began on Friday evening.
The photo shows the empty Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur, which has remained open.