timberland bromilly fiery light tunnel before it

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Camera toting crowds flock to the beach in the weeks preceding and following the Winter Solstice, on December 21 in Northern California, when the sun sets and rises at its furthest southern point.

At this low angle and only on a clear, low tide evening the sun’s muted rays explode through the rock formation and project a tunnel of golden light. Capturing the event is somewhat of a coup for nature photographers, who are known to line up in front of the archway from late afternoon onward between mid December and January.

“If you don’t get there early enough to grab a parking spot, there is a good chance you will be turned away at the beginning of the long, windy road leading to the beach,” says citizen Niranj Srinivasan of Seattle. A ranger turned him away twice on a recent visit, so he laced up his hiking boots and traded the winy drive to the beach for a steep hike down the bluffs.

It’s a lot of effort for an ephemeral moment, but when the light lines up just right with the gap between the rocks, the effect is transcendent; the endeavor justified.

Pfeiffer Beach was closed to the public for much of 2017 after the now famous failure of Pfeiffer Creek Bridge in Big Sur. It reopened to the public on October 13.
timberland bromilly fiery light tunnel before it