GOOD TIMES JOURNAL // PHOTO SERIES 024 // SHANE COKER
Shane Coker is a full-time photographer, passionate about his craft and the outdoors based in San Diego, CA. When he's not running around national parks, camping, or shooting, you can find him planning out his next venture in your local coffee shop.
Big Sur–California. Our venture began by waking up in a turn-out off of Highway 1. We made the conscious decision to drive throughout the night to catch sunrise along this vastly scenic route. The sound of waves we could not yet see and the crisp coastal air seeped into our slightly cracked windows. After taking a few sips of lukewarm coffee, we were back on the road.
First light began to peak over the Los Padres National Forest. We made what seemed like 100 pit stops along the twists and turns hugging the mountainsides. As the sun began to show its face and turn the cliffs golden, it was magic. A sight that will likely remain with me for years to come.
We resided in easily the most well-maintained, & amazingly photogenic campgrounds I’ve had the pleasure of occupying—Ventana Campground. Located right off of Highway 1 amongst a massive redwood grove. A slender, one-way path winds you up the cliffside where you’ll find yourself surrounded by these ancient giants. The overwhelming aromatics of these beautiful trees resonate throughout the region, it almost feels like breathing for the first time.
Our mornings were simple, filled with pour-overs, Ben Howard, and brilliant camp breakfasts. My absolute favorite moment while camping is sitting around the morning fire; wood crackling, smoke billowing, and a fresh cup o’ joe in hand. The time was spent less sleeping and eating, and more exploring, photographing, ignoring “No Entry” signs, hanging off sketchy cliff-sides, chasing beautiful light, & cherishing our time spent together.
What I love most about this region is that you can find some majorly secluded areas with the sense that you are the only humans for miles and miles. Once you travel the entirety of Highway 1 and wander through the town of Big Sur you experience the stillness, peacefulness, the scents, & beauty—you begin to realize very abruptly, why so many creatives flocked here to seek refuge.