The Big Sur Sunset, Inspiration to the Beat Generation and Beyond

We are friends through writing about Mexico and now Jeanine is on a new adventure. She has decided to share those details and also how the beauty of Big Sur and its sunset provide inspiration. No doubt she is staying adventurous, are you? Her words:

 Is staying adventurous a state of mind?  Probably. the sun on the california coast in Big Sur

I grew up as a baby boomer and child of the Sixties when experimentation was our rite of passage. We became hippies, students of the universe, world travelers. We turned on, tuned in and famously dropped out. Eventually most of us reversed position and joined the ranks of the daily grind; then the media re-dubbed us yuppies.

Some stayed adventurous— You know who you are.

For me, travel has always been the key to retaining that adventurous spirit.

Recently back from living fifteen years in Mexico, my husband and I bought a 1978 VW van and started trucking around Northern California. We find ourselves returning often to Big Sur, a magnetic draw for the Beat generation’s most progressive thinkers:  Kerouac, Cassady, Ginsburg and to granddaddy of the movement, Henry Miller, who called Big Sur home from 1944 to 1962.

It’s easy to see why the Beats couldn’t get enough of the place. Layer after layer of mountains cascade down to the Pacific while Highway One streams along in a series of breathtaking switchbacks. Your eyes can barely focus on the road –  beauty simply attacks the senses. God help you if you’re the one behind the wheel.

sunset at Big Sur on the California Coast

Maybe places, beautiful places, generate an adventurous spirit.  In Big Sur I feel I’m part of nature and part of that Big Sur beauty, the Beat generation, and the hippie renaissance that spawned Esalan and gave us Nepenthe’s, all rolled into one.

Big Sur’s splendor-bending didn’t end with the Beats. It was also an oasis to Joseph Campbell, Richard Brautigan and gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson who just couldn’t get enough.

Are they adventurous enough for you?  I know I’m in.

me too, thanks for sharing Jeanine…

Jeanine Kitchel writes about Mexico, the Yucatan and the Maya.  She’s written two books, Where the Sky is Born: Living in Land of the Maya and Maya 2012 Revealed: Demystifying the Prophecy (both available on Amazon). She’s written for Fodor’s Travel Guides and has been a frequent contributor to The Miami Herald; The Herald, Mexico City;; Mexico; Yucatan Today; Yucatan Living and is presently at work on her first novel, set in Mexico. She can be reached through her website at or on twitter @jeaninekitchel

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