Field Trip to Carmel and Big Sur

by Stephanie Casher on November 11, 2006

So Friday was an awesome day :-) I’m hard at work on WHEN LOVE ISN’T ENOUGH, and in the spirit of syncing up with the energies of the Universe, I’m using this Retrograde to do a revision of the first half of WHEN LOVE. In chapter six I set two scenes “on location” — one in Big Sur, and one in Carmel. When I wrote the scenes months ago, I had relied primarily on internet research — I’ve never been to the waterfall in Big Sur that Tony takes Samantha to. But it’s been on my to-do list for awhile to take a field trip, hike to the waterfall, and rewrite the scene to make it more vivid and accurate. Ditto for Carmel.

I had Friday off due to Veteran’s Day (god bless the veterans and their loved ones), and decided to head down to Big Sur and rewrite this chapter already. Great idea. I had the best freakin’ time and it reminded me so much of my road trip! (note to self: plan another road trip) For one day, I got to taste freedom again, and I cherished every second of it. And I got alot of writing done!

I left Santa Cruz around noon (after a quick stop at Target to get the new Sugarland and Keith Urban CDs–reviews to come). The weather was great, and there was barely any traffic. I forget how gorgeous Highway One south of Monterey is. The road is almost completely coastal with breathtaking vistas along every curve.

I was constantly pulling over to snap pictures… I just couldn’t help it — it was so dang pretty!

My first stop was at Limekiln State Park, where I hiked through the forest alongside a roaring creek to a 100 foot waterfall. It was so awesome, I have no idea why I don’t do this more often. Brought my manuscript with me, and literally scribbled notes and sentences while I was hiking. It was too funny. But I wrote some really good stuff out there in the forest, and accomplished exactly what I set out to do.

Next stop was Carmel, where I received even more visual inspiration. I can’t even tell you how much I love this little town. I definitely have to have a house here when I grow up, in addition to the ones in Sedona, Hawaii, and Savannah. I got there right at sunset, and the colors in the sky were just incredible. I’m convinced autumn on the Central Coast hosts the best sunsets… After an adventureful day, it was nice to sit down and enjoy a totally serene moment. So good for my heart, so good for my soul.

(More pics from the journey up on Flickr)

I returned home totally refreshed and inspired. Re-wrote two chapters and even did a little laundry, lol. Folks, do not underestimate the healing power of a day trip. We’re heading into winter, the season of hibernation, where most of us will be homebound due to cold, crappy weather. While you still can, jump in the car, drive somewhere pretty, and have a picnic. Catch a sunset. It dosen’t have to be super-elaborate to be therapeutic. I hear Santa Cruz is a lovely destination this time of year ;-)

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