If you take the road less traveled along the Pacific Coast, you will find yourself on the narrow, winding, two-lane Highway 1, which meanders through a collection of small California towns, along ocean cliffs and beaches.
Here you’ll find travelers who are focused more on the journey and less on reaching their destination, and there are rewards in store for those who do.
Driving lazily along this route in November, there are places where your eyes might convince you that the laws of nature no longer apply. Leaves of orange and brown appear to be defying the rules, drifting not down with the force of gravity, but sidewise and upward among the groves of eucalyptus trees rooted in the sandy soil.
Santa Cruz, Pacific Grove, Big Sur and Pismo Beach are among many hidden gems along the route where this phenomenon exists. It is worth pulling over and getting out of your car to explore.
Closer examination will reveal that those were not fall’s leaves, but thousands of migratory Monarch butterflies! They hang in vast numbers, resembling a cluster of dried leaves to the untrained eye. At Pismo Beach, a very nice state park, a cadre of enthusiastic docents invites the passer-by to stop a while and marvel. [Read more…]