Imagine you're flying around a corner on the Pacific Coast Highway, just north of Big Sur. You've picked your knee up off the ground and the throttle is twisted to the stop. Look up and, to your horror, there's nothing but a precariously balanced piece of asphalt way over on the left, on the right, a guard rail hanging in space and, where your fast moving sport bike is pointed, nothing but a giant gap and some cracked pavement. This is what went through my head when I saw these photos.
Photos: Big Sur Kate
Caltrans is being tight-lipped about the cause of this slip-out, but I doubt it was heavy rain. Big Sur only received 5.75 of its average February rainfall of 8.2 inches and until yesterday, it hadn't rained in March at all. My best guess is that the cribbing gave way and the soft soil under the road simply had nothing to hold it in place anymore.
Until it's repaired, the best detour looks to be Nacimiento-Ferguson Road to Mission Road to G14. A short trip on the 101 to Central Road, and then on to G16 will have you back on your way up the coast.
This detour is actually part of the route I took from Los Angeles to Monterey for last year's Laguna Seca round of MotoGP. If you've got enough gas (no Hypermotards, it's around 100 miles between gas stops), it makes for one of the better rides around.
PCH will be closed for at least one month between Bixby Creek Bridge and Palo Colorado Road while Caltrans rigs a temporary repair. Once it reopens you owe it to yourself to check out the 130 or so miles of coastal road between San Louis Obispo and Carmel that's carved into the side of cliffs that jut straight up out of the Pacific. Whether you enjoy the scenery on a Moto Guzzi Norge or race through on a GSX-R, you'll love it either way.