Big Sur

We love the ice plant that grows wild in California. A native of South Africa, the ice plant (Carpobrotus Edulis) was originally brought to California to stabilize soil along railroad tracks and to control erosion. It was planted along highways in the 1970s. Being a resilient, drought-resistant plant, it became invasive, forming dense networks of roots and competing with local flora. Today the California State Parks warns against planting ice plants, and even urges residents to volunteer to remove them. We, however, enjoy the beauty of the white and pink blossoms in the spring that appear suddenly along the otherwise boring highways. We decided to drive to Pacifica to see the pink blooms along the shore, and then drove on to Big Sur. The drive was very enjoyable and the coast was gorgeous as usual. The ice plant leaves provided an orange glow to the hillsides. Next year I want to return and hike along the Big Sur coast.

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