"Point Sur Sunset"
"Point Sur Sunset"
Limited Edition Aerial Photograph by Zedekiah
The sun is setting over the Point Sur coast in Big Sur, California creating a beautifully luminescent tapestry of colors on the sky ocean and ground.
Located in the coastal area of Big Sur, this area has long been revered as magical, a wondrous place that instills peaceful tranquility.
The original inhabitants of this area, the First Nations Esselen, called this "Ex’selen", meaning "The Rock."
Spanish settlers in the 1700's and earlier thought the point looks like an island and is somewhat shaped like a trumpet so they called this small mountain on the coast "Morro de la Trompa" and "Punta que Parece Isla".
On the hilltop silhouetted by the setting sun are the remains of the old Point Sur Lighthouse built in 1889 which has remained in operation as an essential aid to navigation ever since. The lighthouse has had four different light sources during its history. First, it had an oil wick lamp, and then an oil vapor lamp burning 3 types of fuel: whale oil, lard oil, and kerosene. Later, two different kinds of electric lights were used to emit a beam of light which swept across the ocean in a wide arc seen for 23 nautical miles. And for dense fog, the lighthouse had at first a coal-powered foghorn.
The 4 person staff and their families lived in isolation on the point at the station with no inland roads leading to this remote point, Monterey, less than 30 miles (48 km) to the north was a full day's trip away until the Cabrillo-San Simeon Highway was completed in 1937. They had all the facilities needed for them to be self-sustaining including a water cistern, later replaced by the water tower seen in this image, and a pump house brought water from a well in the sand flats at the base of the back side of the point. They had barns and livestock and gardens with a carpenter and blacksmith to help sustain their self-sufficiency.
To the right along the coastline lies the Point Sur State Marine Reserve and Marine Conservation Area. This 19.68 square miles (51.0 km2) wildlife habitat is a safe zone where everything within its boundaries is protected.