The first thing we encounter is the fog. Weaving in and out of the Pacific sea smoke along Highway 1’s voluptuous curves creates a dreamlike state. Signs of Big Sur’s iconic backside peek out in the distance, as preying hawks swarm above the meandering traffic. Around a wildflower-speckled bend the Bixby Bridge emerges, and time stops all but the silent waves crashing against the cliffside 260 feet below. This is the Big South, the West Coast’s colossal Garden of Eden.