Sometimes you just need to make lemonade from lemons. For months I had been planing to visit Big Sur during the winter solstice with hopes to capture the sunset light shining through the arch on Pfeiffer Beach. The phenomenon happens only once a year and only lasts for a couple of weeks. I made the 6 hour drive Monday morning only to find Big Sur was on fire! It started Sunday night and is in the exact location of Pfeiffer Beach. Sadly as of today 14 families had lost their homes including the Big Sur fire chief. From the sound of it they were lucky to get out alive as it started while they were sleeping. Many of them woke to flames right outside their front doors.
On the drive to my motel the fire was burning down to the road right next to my car. It was surreal and felt like something out of a movie. Local motels were giving free rooms to displaced families and emergency workers to they were happy to refund my money and send me on my way. I continued on to a favorite b&b in Carmel about 30 miles north of the fire and set about trying to salvage my trip. There was a very full moon so after dinner I decided to take a drive up to Pebble Beach. It was very dark and lonely out there but the moon lit up my long exposure shots in a magical way. The pink haze in the background is smoke from Big Sur. The Ghost Tree appeared right at home under the circumstances and seemed to want to give me some magic to sooth my disappointment.
My thoughts and prayers go to out to all those effected in Big Sur. As of this morning the fire is still going strong.