Our trip was all too brief; we forged our way into the forbidden coast, enjoyed a lovely day of playful work, and then scooted home safely. I say forbidden because the fragile coast road is beset with rockslides and closures both north and south, so we crawled in through a little-used side route that cleaves the ancient Santa Lucia mountains. The drive was gorgeous beyond compare, albeit harrowing at times when we got a clear look at how the mountain slopes plunged away from the road's shoulder.
The conditions were kind to us. That area changes constantly, and we got a bit of rain and wind and cold and surprising tidal swings, but we also got some placid sunshine and a glassy ocean surface for a spell. We crammed about 25 quick setups into one day of shooting, and even had time for a little free surf afterwards. It was physically exhausting because the surf is a mile down an edenic footpath from the highway and parking lot. We hiked in and out 4 times, carrying camera and surf gear, so we expended some calories. The river runs all along the way, but access is limited. There is more poison oak there than you've ever seen in your life -- forested acres of it -- and much of the riverbed is rocky and tough. We tried to make it look more benign than it really was!