Sunday, December 2, 2012

Over the Mountains... (Part 5 of 7): Exiting Fort Hunter Liggett's back Entrance

by Steve Reiss (Dalmdad Landscape Photography - and

Compared to the wide open space of FHL's Jolon gate,FHL's NFR gate is remote and tucked into the forest.  You may even--for a moment--feel bad for the guard posted here in the middle of no where.

This photo is courtesy Doctor Love 415

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (NFR) is a popular highly-scenic, but tough to drive, Monterey County road.  As mentioned in an earlier post in this series, NFR begins at Mission Road in Fort Hunter Liggett near the truss bridge over the San Antonio River.  The Road ends 14 miles later at the Pacific Ocean, after twisting its way through the Los Padres National Forest and up and down the Santa Lucia Mountains.  Coast Road, which runs parallel to the Santa Lucia Range and the Pacific Ocean, crosses NFR about 9 miles from the NFR Gate of Fort Hunter Liggett. NFR is the only road that crosses the SL Range.

After the NFR gate, you are in pure forest country; trees, trees, and even more trees.  If you want to see fall in California, this is a good place to look.  A lot of visitors to California comment that we do not have a fall season.  That is not true, you just need to know where to look for it.  You won't find fall standing on the Newport Pier, where bikinis are worn year round or at the beach in San Clemente.

Scenes from fall in the Los Padres National Forest....

What people say about Nacimiento-Fergusson Road:

one of those roads that requires some serious planning to actually get to for most people.
If I never see Nacimiento-Fergusson road again, it will be too soon. Let me explain.,,,For the first few miles, the Nacimiento-Fergusson road was very nice. It took us through some fields, then we wound our way through the woods. But then, all of the sudden, we were climbing a cliff, the road got more narrow, and I lost my mind. I was shaking, driving 10 mile per hour, and basically behaving like a lunatic. They don't have mountains like that in Detroit! Fortunately, Margaret is a little cooler than I am and she ordered me to stop at a scenic viewing spot and she took over. We got a few pictures from this drive, but mostly, we were both completely freaked out. The road was too narrow for us to turn around, and it just kept getting scarier ahead. Eventually, however, we made it to the coast without Nacimientoing and we had one of the best breakfasts I've ever had.

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