If you grew up in a surfing household, you’ve probably heard about Mavericks your whole life. If you didn’t, and it’s familiar, it’s probably that you’ve got a giant crush on Gerard Butler and watched the movie Chasing Mavericks a few too many times. I grew up in a surfing household. Yep.
We’re staying about 20 minutes up the coast at an RV park in a town called Pacifica. The park is really just a massive paved parking lot and most of its campers are looking out the window at another RV parked right next door. We SCORED though and organized a front-row spot overlooking the ocean. Yay! I wouldn’t have stayed here but for the fact that Atlas had another pre-departure vet visit that we needed to do up in San Francisco and this was the closest to that that fit my criteria of scenic spot + hiking/walking right from the site.
I will say the sunsets were gorgeous and we enjoyed some short walks on the bluff-top footpath. Aside from that we had a great time, as always, hanging out together in the RV.
The absolute highlight though was that we drove down to Half Moon Bay to check-out Mavericks. The wave breaks nearly 1/4-mile off-shore and only when the swell gets to about 25 feet. When it’s working, big wave surfers from all-over the world flock here to surf it. A man named Twiggy rode a 50-foot wave here in 2014. Surprisingly that’s not the biggest wave ever ridden, an American rode a 78-foot wave at Nazare in Portugal in 2011. That’s just INSANE.
Unfortunately there was very little swell for our visit. Bummer! I had really been looking forward to seeing this place working. I was still stoked to be here though and discovered a really nice network of off-least doggy trails on the headland behind Pillar Point. I loved walking along looking at the point imagining what it would be like on a day that the surf hit just right and sent the waves soaring.
If you’re wondering what the thing is on the point that looks like a golf ball on a tee, it’s got a interesting story. The US Extraterrestrial Committee is expecting a giant alien species to invade the Earth and this is mankind’s gesture of hospitality to them. Kidding. Haha. Although if I were a giant alien this looks like a great spot for a driving range. No, so, currently it’s operated by the United States Air Force and used to track missiles and other air and space-borne devices. It was initially built though as part of the harbor defense for San Francisco in World War II over concerns the Japanese would attack the harbor.
I watched Chasing Mavericks again that night, for the surf footage of course.
Next stop… another famous surf spot.
Thanks for reading. -Elevated.
3 thoughts on “Mavericks, Highway 1, California”
Both Pacifica and Half Moon Bay were favorite spots for me and my late husband to visit in October every year. I love that part of California!, and of course Big Sur. I also watched Chasing Mavericks this past week–love that movie and especially Gerard Butler <3. I hope you continue to have amazing and safe travels with your mini me!
Colleen! Great to hear from you. I’m so sorry for your loss. October on the Central Coast would have been the perfect trip before the craziness of the ski season! Hopefully you can continue the tradition and be comforted my the memories you shared here. Thanks for the note!
Great sun sets