Gary's Musings

Point Sur and the El Sur Ranch

In the span that it takes a multitude of frames to parse and convey an otherwise indecipherable image upon a screen:

A flash of time passes….then a re-acquaintance with the moment and image at hand.

All about me the alluvial flatlands accentuate the abrupt upheaval and vertical mass that is Point Sur.

Connected to continent’s end by the most narrow and fragile spit of sand, this gargantuan granite slab presents as illusion and chicanery to the observer's logic.

And in the heavy shore-borne ether of Big Sur;

Who’s to say whether this suspension is daydream or delirium?

In the end, I only know that the trance unfailingly revisits me every time I spy this great Rock amongst this grand Basin.


There is traction in this Valley; 

An emotional and physical pull that triggers a latent lever in my brain

A primal evocation….joined by some subtle “G” force

The pull…. is at once relaxing and distracting.

In the present moment I am oddly thrown out of kilter by the invisible physics embedded in the surrounds,

In the next,

I am sublimely assuaged….  

For to the east, the El Sur branded cattle and the Coastal Oaks cast their afternoon shadows in the style of Eyvind Earle’s elongated brushstrokes;

And seaward, the greenery, the blue, the line, and then the softer blue again….


A thicket of Cypress punctuates the pastures of the El Sur Ranch and breaks the crippling trade wind. Saplings stabbed in the ground at the behest of the brother’s Trotter and Deetjen; planted with the commission and coin lifted from the posterity of rail baron Hill’s weighty pockets.

Their legacy now surviving and thriving in the form of an enchanting Bavarian forest that arouses the youthful imagination in the manner of Sherwood!


Leeward, from the lighthouse’s shipwrecked beach, migrating coastal Médanos ease the pupils with their soothing amorphous shadowed topology, all the while hinting at the persistently sinister winds that need-be-present for their creation.

And like the other natural anomalies that subliminally reveal themselves in this Grand Basin, the prevailing north easterly trade winds foster waves that seek the longshore and join with its drift; subtly re-setting their course toward the northern spur of Point Sur’s tombolo, in an irregular diagonal direction unfamiliar to neighboring shores.

And the velocity of the persistent invisible mover of things; gains through deflection off the prismed promontory, parting my hair as my mind seeks to rationalize the obtuse angle of approach.



And yet beautifully symmetric and powerful waves are born of these waters.

They come my way in row after concentric row, as if conceived by a haloed being or arithmetician, who precisely calibrates the spacing of each hypnotic fold; transfixing and lulling the lazy eyed onlooker into a state…. untethered-or-incarcerated by terra firma.


And least not I begin to grow drowsy;

The terminating surf ends in loud and sudden fury!

A byproduct of the tied island’s subsurface girth…. a displacement…. which greets the incoming waves with a shallow sand bottom. Depriving the kinetic energy of its chance to unfold more eloquently from right or left,

Breaking only at once….

Uniformly from the top.

As if in a surfer’s nightmare,

A perpetual stream of closeouts,

Crashing down in a thunderously low

Life ending Har-reh Kae-ree.    (aka: Harry Carry)

Posthumously heard from every cracked window on the Cabrillo!