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March 2019, Schilt Publishing: Going South - Big Sur

 

In the winter of 2017 extreme rain fell on Big Sur, California. Mountains ravaged by drought and fire could not hold the water. One of the main bridges on Highway 1 collapsed. Access to Big Sur was cut off from the north. About 30 miles to the south, the largest landslide in Big Sur history buried the highway, cutting off the road to the south. It would be more than a year before Highway 1 would reopen. During this time the 4 million tourists who visit Big Sur annually could not get in. Big Sur was empty and quiet while the locals began the rebuilding process and waited for the road to reopen.

Interested in photographing during the isolation, I hiked my large format camera into Big Sur. I was guided by Torre McQueen, who grew up in Big Sur, as I spent the next two years exploring, meeting with the residents who call the area home, and photographing. The work continued as the bridge was rebuilt and eventually the highway fully reopened in the summer of 2018.