The Road less traveled … (part I)

A friend and neighbor introduced me to this route to Salinas over 16 years ago. It is the least “painful” route I have found from here to there, and it is so enjoyable this time of year. Of course I took photographs. But I also found myself starting a photo essay called, “The Colors of Green.” I will post some of those photos at a later time, but for now enjoy the road less traveled.

Sunrise on the Summit by Kate Woods Novoa

Mossy Waterfall by Kate Woods Novoa

Wild Turkeys by Kate Woods Novoa

Fields of Pink by Kate Woods Novoa

Entrance by Kate Woods Novoa

A Wine called Wrath by Kate Woods Novoa

Those are the first 1/2 of the photos of the road less traveled. The second will follow in a few days, after I catch up with weather and road reports. The weather looks wet Thursday into Friday, with the possibility of thunderstorms, hail, and even a bit of snow on our higher peaks, but the latter half of next week might be interesting.

14 thoughts on “The Road less traveled … (part I)

  1. Your southern shot of snow-covered Cone Peak is still my favorite. The mossy-waterfall a close runner-up. And, the fortuitousness of that magnificent wild turkey photo boogles my mind. They didn’t look frightened, at all.

  2. Wow, Kate, gorgeous scenery makes me glad for you on the long detour, thanks for the spectacular treat. It’s a wonderland here and there, I’m with Wally, the waterfall/moss is stunning.
    Why aren’t we using horses to get around. And a covered wagon or two over the pass. Or llamas with back packs. Oxen, sheep, cooperative bears, homing pigeons. More invention called for. When’s our visit from Hillary and Angelina scheduled. Big Sur needs the political heft granted to Libyan rebels. All refrigerated items vanished from markets here. Any locals making butter?

  3. When I take that route, I am reminded of those who took the mules and horses over the Santa Lucias for supplies, mail runs, etc. It was a trecherous route that sometimes involved the death of the rider and his or her horse. It was a 3 day round trip, at least, and the general store/post office in Jolon was often the destination, although sometimes pioneers went on to King City to visit friends and relatives.

    We really have it easy, you know.

  4. Thank you, Kate. I so enjoy seeing shots of your beautiful countryside. The field of pink flowers and the waterfall were stunning, but so interesting to see wild turkey in numbers like you saw.

  5. Beautiful photos and writings Kate. I have been wanting to ride this road for a couple of years. Was thinking about riding to Carmel Wednesday and Big Sur Thursday. As you mentined, weather 8( Next week hopefully.

  6. Kate – Your photos say it all! Been driving N-F every day, and the pay-back for the long, twisty drive is the absolute beauty. There is nothin’ like the views of the snowy peaks, the trees, and the forever-and-ever stretch of coastline and ocean out to infonity, thousands of feet below. Add to that a Grateful Dead tune on the radio.

    Here, again is that poem that the beauty of the way inspired…


    The ribbon of the road
    threads the canyon curves.

    Misty morning whisps
    lace snow-dusted summits.

    Verdant Spanish moss,
    burnished bronze bark,

    of madrone and manzanita,
    twisting oak tines,

    regenerating redwood
    line the wandering way.

    …Waterfalls everywhere!

    The sapphire sea
    stretches to eternity

  7. Thank you for the beautiful photos of NF Rd.
    Just noticed your middle name–that was my maternal grandmother’s maiden name, Kate Woods, though she went by Kitty all her life. Her family hailed from Hastings, England, where she was born. She moved to California as a young post-WWI widow to raise her two young daughters. She was 5’1″ and spunky as all get-out, much as I imagine you to be!

  8. These photos are amazing and make us want to attempt the NF Road as we drive to Big Sur from Monterey. Since we are not exactly experienced mountain drivers, however, we are a bit worried about the drive itself, not to mention the risk of road closure due to fallen trees! Should we take the 101 to 46 and over instead? Help!

  9. Jane, most of these wew taken in the flat portions of the drive. Nacimiento-Fergusson on the USFS, particularly when it starts climbing, is not for the faint of heart…or those afraid of heights or edges. 101 to 46, while long, is much easier.

  10. Thanks for the quick reply. We’ll probably opt for the easier drive and experience NF vicariously through your pictures!

  11. “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings,
    Nature’s peace will flow into you,
    as sunshine flows into trees.
    The winds will blow their own freshness into you,
    and the storms their energy,
    while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
    – John Muir

  12. I didn’t miss part two, did I??

    Beautiful pictures; would like an opportunity to take some myself!

    Plans are still in the air…think N-F road mid-morning on Saturday (as in, the 30th) is going to be a tough ride westbound orcycle with a small trailer??

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