Yeah, so I wrote this ten years ago after our first visit to Lucia Lodge. Thought it appropriate to rerun it ten years later.
On the Road in Big Sur
We approached Big Sur under cover of fog illuminated by a full moon, the throaty rumble of our 2005 convertible Mustang echoing in the stillness of a nearly deserted Hwy 1. I knew the ocean was to our right but darkness and the concentration necessary to negotiate the corkscrew of scenic highway prevented me from seeing much more than the occasional lunar reflection of black water.
Our destination, Lucia Lodge, about twenty five miles south of the more populated areas of Big Sur, advertised its “unique cliff-side location” offering “unparalleled and commanding views” of the Big Sur coast and Santa Lucia mountains. Established in the 1930’s, the lodge is now operated by fifth generation descendants of the original owners, Wilbur and Ada Harlan. As we soon discovered, Lucia Lodge is basically all there is to Lucia, with twenty-five miles of desolation north on Hwy 1 and about fifteen miles of the same to the south. We were unaware of this geographical fact when, though famished, we decided to skip the Big Sur Roadhouse in favor of locating the lodge. Twenty-five miles after bypassing the last of civilization to the north, we arrived at 10 PM to a locked and darkened lodge and restaurant.
In the lobby of the restaurant (discovered the next day after the complimentary breakfast of pastries, muffins, bagels, fruit salad, and bowls of hard-boiled eggs) hangs a framed 1984 San Francisco Examiner article which begins, and I quote:
“You’d swear you’ve seen the setting in some brooding film noir classic, maybe a 1940’s dark Howard Hawks thriller: a small coastal roadside gas station-restaurant-store with a few cabins off to the side overlooking a steep cliff.”