Going to Big Sur by myself was one of the scariest and best things I’ve ever done. I drove in from the north side of Highway 1 and stopped at Big Sur Deli for a sandwich and Henry Miller Library for some nostalgia. I hiked to McWay Falls, and then back up the hill behind it, where I stood barefoot in a creek of cold water deep in the woods, and regretfully lost my favorite, enamel, “cherokee” printed pin that Eddie O. gave me somewhere in the dirt. After my hike, all I wanted to do was find my camping spot and curl up in my sleeping bag, but I had to look up the address on my phone, and I was completely without service. The only place that I knew I had cell service was back by the Deli, about 12 miles away. So I drove back up there solely to look at my phone, only to realize I needed to drive an hour south, back in the direction I had just come from. The sun was starting to set and I was just hoping I’d get there before dark. I finally reached the spot off Highway 1 and drove onto the bumpiest, hilliest road I’ve ever driven on, and I was only about 40% sure my car would make it. I figured it was very possible for me to roll backwards off this cliff at any moment and never see the world from this plane ever again. And the further I drove, the more confused I became because I didn’t see any campsite. I eventually reached my first sign of human life, a hippie clearly living out of his van, who told me, “Anyone can camp in a national forest for 14 days, and then they have to move at least 30 miles away,” and pointed out where I could find some other camp sites. I drove on, hating every moment of the bumpy road, passing only one other camp site. It was starting to get dark and I hadn’t found any other spot to stay so I turned around to go back to the only place I knew of. That was actually the worst idea I could have had because now the sun was directly in my eyes, and I was very close to driving off a cliff. My windshield was too dirty to see out of, even after I wiped it off twice. I had to lean my head out the window, see how much room I had before I might die, drive a little, stop, repeat, until I got to a shady side of the mountain and back to the camp site. I put my sleeping bag outside and finally got to deeply inhale the sweetest air I’ve ever had the pleasure of breathing. Soon I was covered in a blanket of stars and I remembered why Big Sur feels like home.