Big Sur is a place of seasons even if not one of extreme temperatures. What changes is the amount of rain falling and sun you are likely to see. Summer is the warmest time of year but the difference between air and ocean temperatures can lead to foggy conditions. Fall is typically cool and clear. Winters are wet with nearly constant storms. Spring is transitional with a good chance of clear days.
In general, mornings can be foggy but don't give up hope, in a hour or so it can be entirely clear. Don't get complacent, do as much as you can before it fogs back up! Actually, we were there in mid-June and while the mornings were foggy, it was clear in the afternoon.
Summer can also be a time for wild fires and three days after we left the coast for Yosemite the tragedy hit Big Sur again. Thousands of acres were destroyed and people were evacuated. We felt very lucky to have seen it before this disaster struck.
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Lots of hippies in Big Sur
Hippies flooded to Big Sur in the 1960s, and many of them later departed leaving a small population of just 1500 residents in the area. Today Big Sur might not be a hippie destination, but those hippies who remained still carry the talismans of the hippie era. VW minivans from the 60s are still prevalent and you often read about drug busts or hear word of pot farms in the mountains.
In recent years property in the area has been purchased up from the poorer hippies by rich families from San Francisco and Los Angeles, with waterfront lots going for some $3 million nowadays.
The Golden State
The 16th Century explorers, Cortez and Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, were the first to view the land we now call California.
Then, in 1579, Sir Francis Drake explored the rugged coastline of California and claimed it for England's Queen Elizabeth.
Spanish missionaries followed in the mid-1700s, and then in 1825 Mexico took control, then finally relinquishing its grip in 1848. Soon after California was granted statehood, and in the minds of many, became the most famous of all the states.
It's the most populated U.S. state and a land of many contrasts, including high mountains (Sierra Nevada), fertile valleys, the Pacific Ocean beaches, impressive redwood forests, deserts, national parks and so much more.
Famed for its cities and lifestyles, California is one of the most unique destinations on the planet
The first quarter
The first quarter released in 2005 honors California, and is the 31st in the United States Mint's 50 State Quarters® Program. California was admitted into the Union on September 9, 1850, becoming our Nation’s 31st State. Nicknamed the "Golden State," California’s quarter depicts naturalist and conservationist John Muir admiring Yosemite Valley’s monolithic granite headwall known as "Half Dome" and also contains a soaring California condor. The coin bears the inscriptions "California," "John Muir," "Yosemite Valley" and "1850."
In 1890, Congress established Yosemite National Park, and in 1892 John Muir helped form the Sierra Club to protect it, serving as that organization’s President until his death in 1914.
The California condor, with a wingspan as long as nine feet, is also featured on the coin in a tribute to the successful repopulation of the once nearly extinct bird.
The 20-member California State Quarter Commission was formed to solicit design concepts from California citizens and to review all submissions. The Commission forwarded 20 design concepts to Governor Gray Davis’s office for further consideration. From these, five were chosen as finalists and sent for final review to the United States Mint. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger chose the final selection from this group of five. The four other design concepts considered included "Waves and Sun," "Gold Miner," "Golden Gate Bridge," and the "Giant Sequoia" design. The Department of Treasury approved the "John Muir/Yosemite Valley" design on April 15, 2004.
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