Big Sur In The Sixties?

Discussion in 'Flashbacks' started by newo, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. Trigcove

    Trigcove Member

    Back around 1970, I spent a couple of weeks living on the beaches between Santa Cruz and Monterey. We met a lot of really great people there and were even invited to lunch by a bunch of bikers that were hanging out on the beach one afternoon.

    I loved living on the beaches. The garbage cans always had loads of discarded food in them, fresh daily! We would often find unfinished bottles of wine, sandwiches, cheese, crackers, veggies - all carefully wrapped and inside of plastic bags... a veritable smorgasbord orgasbord orgasbord.

    One particular place had hardpacked sand cliffs, maybe 40 or 50 feet high. There were foot and handholds carved into the sand, leading up to caves that had been carved into the cliffs - wonderful places to sleep during bad weather.
  2. Zenbo

    Zenbo Member

    Oh, happy I found this thread! OK, here we go. The first time I went to Big Sur was the year I was born, 1949, just after Nepenthe's opened. My Dad was raised in Salinas, my grandfather was general manager of the old Coast Valley Electric before PG&E bought it out in '53, and my Dad used to take my Mom and me and my sister (after we were born) down there once in awhile. I have vague memories of camping down there in the late '50s, and I started going down to Carmel more in my teens to see family and friends. I'd graduated from high school in '67 on the Peninsula, but by late '68, community college just bored me, so I took off down to Carmel to see some friends who lived uncle lived out in Carmel Valley as well (on the planning commission). My friends introduced me to a guy and his wife who lived in a house in Rocky Creek cove, just south of Palo Colorado Rd., 12 miles south of the Highlands. His father, from whom he was somewhat estranged, was actually the postmaster of Carmel, but you'd never guess it. He was a member of a small local clique, along with my other friends in Carmel, that had been close to Richard Farina before he died. So, this guy was already building a cabin on the property (about 10 acres) 50 yds from their house....the guy who was going to rent it fell through, so they offered to rent it to me for $25 a month!! I just can't believe it looking back on it. We grew gardens of pot from SE Asian seed I'd gotten from a friend, who'd returned from Vietnam, to make a living....sold it cheap to the poor guys from Fort Ord bootcamp being shipped off to Nam every weekend in Carmel when they'd get weekend leave. My friend had a flatbed truck, so we'd also haul firewood all over Carmel and Pebble Beach.....heh, since we knew when people were home or when they'd be traveling, we'd purloin small quantities of firewood from customers who weren't home and resell it to customers who were!!! Hey, you do what you can to eat. Right before the '69 Big Sur Folk Festival which was to take place at Esalen, some friends of ours took an old '47 Hudson all the way to El Paso and back to pick peyote know how many big, fat, juicy buttons (not like the scrawny ones these days) you can fit in a friggin' cavern like the trunk in a '47 Hudson? Well, over 800 to be exact! I had friends down from the Peninsula a few days before the Festival was going to start....several days sitting on the cabin porch, just above Hwy. 1, drinking "summer snow" (read "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me" by Richard Farina), never stopping, til the moon dripped into the ocean every midnight from the dawn of time! The concert, of course, was a classic...Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, John Sebastian, a fantastic gospel singing was a gas. My only regret from that time, oddly, is that I wasn't flush with some cash instead of being dead broke, 'cause we could have bought the property for only $50K from the lady who owned's now worth $5M, but it's not the money. If I'd have had the means to buy that place, I would have never left for the rest of my life, period.
  3. newo

    newo Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Found it!


    White Bacardi Rum
    Shredded coconut
    Crushed ice
    Orange Sherbert
    Chocolate jimmies
    Chopped peyote buds

    Blend until frothy

    When I lived in Arizona we used to blend peyote buttons with orange juice and vanilla ice cream, but this sounds intriguing. Wish I'd had the recipe back then.


    GOD it sucks to live on the East Coast
  5. Ranger

    Ranger Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Anyone recall the folks ofSalmon Creek? In '69 they moved camp up to Vencenre (sp?) Creek for a short while before moving on to Wash./Ore and help found the Gatherings.
  6. Stillcrazy

    Stillcrazy Member

    I camped in Big Sur for a couple of weeks in early 69, it was beautiful but it rained the whole time I was there. Picked up loads of hitchikers on the way there and back, everyone was going somewhere. That part was wonderful. I lived in Santa Cruz for a few months in 1970, some hippie friends had an antique shop there and we stayed with them in the house behind the shop. We walked the dogs along the beach and watched the seals and went digging for antique bottles and china up in the hills in what used to be the dump. I had a few scary moments hitchiking back through the hills to Palo Alto (I was a 17 year old girl on my own!), but mostly it was good times.
  7. jellydonut

    jellydonut Member

    i've got a few great stories of that first time through was in the back seat of a volvo, traveling from olympia to santa barbara, and tripping on acid from s.f. to big sur. the ocean was not only amazing, as were the stars, but there was a red tide that made it glow and glisten. being from indiana i'd never been so blown away by the beauty of nature and california. had several adventures through the years at eselan institute, tassajara, deitchens inn, etc. lots of fun and good memories.
  8. ChasM23

    ChasM23 Member

    I remember staying with some squatters for a few days during a trip down and up the coast from SF to SD and back. These people were "minding" a vacant cabin up in the mountains, on a back road that emptied out somewhere near a little hole-in-the-wall wood frame restaurant that sat just off Highway 1. That's about all I can remember, because that particular trip was quite a "trip", if you know what I mean!
  9. OlderWaterBrother

    OlderWaterBrother May you drink deeply Lifetime Supporter

    Everybody had a few scary moments hitchhiking back in the day but like you said, mostly it was good times. [​IMG]
  10. eatlysergicacid

    eatlysergicacid Creep in a T-Shirt

    This thread is gold.
  11. BigSurLight

    BigSurLight Guest

    Almost ten years later. I lived in Big Sur from 64to 70 , I have lots of stories about the real hip shamans who lived in the hills if anyone is still here.
  12. Driftwood Gypsy

    Driftwood Gypsy Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    I just love Big Sur. We went for our honeymoon; one of the most beautiful if not the most beautiful place I've been to in my life. We went camping and had such an amazing, magical, awesome time, and Big Sur had a lasting impression on me and really inspired me. Then as we were leaving we gave some hippie hitchhikers a ride and they smoked us out while we had an awesome conversation.
    Big Sur is magical.
  13. newo

    newo Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Well then by all means share your stories!
  14. BigSurLight

    BigSurLight Guest

    In 64 I left my English husband and ran off to Big Sur with a peyote head. We lived under the redwood trees and took LSD. There was no electricity in our cabin and few neighbors. One quiet night the door slammed open and three hunters with rifles walked in. "Get out of bed hippie" they said. "Stay in bed" I whispered, then I jumped up in my nightgown and picked up a broom, sweeping towards the three hunters. They backed up into the kitchen, of course you back up when a woman is sweeping. I said, " you boys are drunk let me make you some coffee". My accent was very educated English. " that's ok ma'am ", one said, " we're leaving now". Eventually we lived up in the hills in the pine and oak, hunters were always more dangerous than wild boar or rattle snake. It is a wild and dramatic place. I will tell an encounter with pig story if anyone reads.
  15. Ranger

    Ranger Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Great story BSL! Please continue. My s/o and I spent a good bit of '68/69 with the Salmon Creek Commune.
  16. BigSurLight

    BigSurLight Guest

    My "old man" and I moved down the coast and lived up at 3,000 ft, above the fog line, looking down at a tiny thread that was Highway One. We had matched bamboo flutes, they were in tune with each other and we played together often across the high meadows. On full moon nights the cayote would howl calling from one pack to another echoing across the ridge top. we would play flutes to them and they would stop and listen and then answer, inter species talk.
    I took my flute to a party and it got picked up, I searched until it was too late to see, feeling quite a loss, it was a miracle the flutes were in tune, no way I could get another match.
    The next day I looked down at the highway in the direction we had been for the party and called out, " flute come home". later that day Bob went down to the highway for chain saw gas and brought a hippie home. We often adopted young people for a few days. Bob got out his flute after dinner and the young man said, " what a cool coincidence, before you picked me up a car stopped and they gave me this flute, but I can't play it" . Bob took it and smiling handed it to me, it was my flute, my special mark on the side, it came home to me from thirty miles away, Big Sur magic.
  17. This is truly the greatest forum ever!! these stories are just golden and i could smoke it up while reading this stuff for hours...truly awesome times i would imagine, not perfect but awesome nonetheless. I wish i could have experienced those days, But please people, keep the stories coming cause they are just fantastic.
  18. Ranger

    Ranger Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    '68/'69, kim novak picking up hitch hiking hippies in her little hotrod porsche and blasting up thru Big Sur @ 90 mph as said hippies hung on to their trips by the skin of their teeth...
  19. BigSurLight

    BigSurLight Guest

    My friend came home and told his wife he had just turned the lovely famous Kim down. It was believable too, Rodney was handsome and intelligent and had three kids at home with a green eyed fox for a wife.
  20. these stories about big sur kick ass! anybody ever go to woodstock? i heard it wasnt as glorious as people make it out to be.

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