This post comes to us from Courtney at Free People Manhattan Beach. Follow Free People Manhattan Beach on Instagram!
“Road trips are the equivalent of human wings. Ask me to go on one anywhere. We’ll stop in every small town and learn the history and stories, feel the ground and capture the spirit. Then we’ll turn it into our own story that will live inside our history to carry with us always. Because stories are more important than things.” –Victoria Erickson
We put on our wings Friday, ready to take off on our adventure. Leaving from Los Angeles we had a car full of good food and magical tunes. With little to no plans along the way, only a final destination in mind. We were trekking up the coast to a picturesque place called Big Sur. Wide-eyed, we were prepared to collect memories that we would hold onto for the rest of our lives. Stopping where our hearts felt connected and talking with locals who would lead us further on our journey. Connected only to the present moment.
Our first stop was a few hours up the coast in a small town called Pismo Beach. A place where the beach rolls on forever. The ocean seemed to have made its home near mountains made of sand. We explored these sand dunes and let our hearts run wild in its vast beauty, collecting treasures everywhere we went… we were dreaming in real life. Camp was set up on the sand that night and we fell asleep to the most beautiful sounds. A light rain sprinkled above us as the waves crashed on the shore; you could not recreate the sounds colliding together in the way they did that night.
The following day we were ready for our next exploration. We took our time that morning, saying goodbye to this lovely place by taking a run on the beach, later sitting down to meditate and give thanks to the moment. It would be a full day of enchanting new sights, and we wanted to stop as many times as we could to see every angle of the coast and meet the spirits that live in these well-traveled towns, to hear what they have to say and let them lead us on our journey.
We were guided to beaches teaming with elephant seals and stopped for a while to giggle at their playful nature. As we made our way through small towns, we would take a moment to explore little stores and restaurants, buying local treasures that we could make into jewelry and hold with us forever.
“For me jewelry is a way of keeping a moment alive.” – Courtney
We stopped at multiple beaches that day, laughing with local surfers as they told us stories about how this magical town has changed over the years. Time slowed when we came to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, where you have one of the most beautiful beaches on one side, and miles of deep redwood forest on the other. The beauty that was all around us was not something that could be described, but only felt. Our senses were on high alert, yet we were in such peace.
We stayed for a while to watch a cascading waterfall run into the roaring ocean, then hiked the trails through forests filled with quick-moving streams. This would be our home for the night… there was no other place we wanted to be. We found a campsite high up on a cliff over the ocean where the entire coastline was laid out before us, surrounded by sky-scraping redwoods yet close enough to still hear the seals barking on the coast every so often. It was dark now, as we had wanted to run with the sun as long as possible. We set up our resting place that night by the glow of a warm fire.
Dinner was a few local delicacies — purchased in a small town — grilled on the open flame. After a long day of total immersion, we had become deeply connected to this place. Into the early morning hours we shared stories and laughed as loud as we pleased knowing not a soul could hear us. The night was so perfect we didn’t even make it into the tent and slept outside instead, above the clouds and below the stars to soak in the last bits of this amazing new piece of our story that we had created. Once again falling asleep to some of sweetest sounds this world has to offer.
We awoke feeling recharged and took our time that morning, waking in complete peace, laying down to read books and make jewelry from the new treasures we had collected. We made breakfast there that morning and drank our coffee while reminiscing about this most perfect weekend. We weren’t ready to take off our wings… we were already dreaming of our next flight.
Courtney, Brooke, and Ben.
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