“Big Sur” is trending on Twitter for two major reasons. One is obvious: people love posting photos of the breathtaking oceanside scenery in the northern California town.
But there’s another reason. And it has nothing to do with Hunter S. Thompson or the Beat poets who made the area famous. It’s the soaring gas prices in California generally and in Big Sur in particular.
As the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports, by Friday, the price of gas at one Big Sur-area gas station had reached $7.59 a gallon. Meanwhile, nearby San Luis Obispo County boasted the fourth-highest gas prices in America – with a comparably tame average price of $4.609 per gallon.
Topping that were Napa ($4.657), Santa Rosa ($4.684) and San Francisco ($4.696).
Gas Prices Are Rising Nationwide, and Especially Sharply in California
California often claims the title of Most Expensive Gas. But as gas prices rise nationwide, California’s prices are climbing at a particularly steep rate.
United States Energy Information Administration data shows that the average California gas price rose by $1.48 from this time last year. It’s now at $4.56 per gallon. The national average price per gallon was $3.36 as of Thursday.
AAA told the Tribune that at this time last year, no state had gas as expensive as $3.36 per gallon. Now no state has an average gas price below $3.
‘Big Sur’ Becomes Popular on Social Media
After Big Sur lit up the Twitter trends list, people began posting scenic pictures of the area, with many of them tweeting some variation on, “Since Big Sur is trending, here’s a picture from Big Sur.” Some simply captioned their photos or videos, “Big Sur.”
Others referenced the area’s literary legacy, jokingly inquiring if that was why “Big Sur” started trending.
“I saw Big Sur trending and naively thought everyone was reading Kerouac,” another Twitter user posted.
Other tweeps replied to a tweet by Amy Phan West, a Republican running to represent California’s 45th congressional district, which is located in Orange County and spans the cities of Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Villa Park, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest and Rancho Santa Margarita, plus parts of Anaheim, Orange, Laguna Woods, Mission Viejo and Trabuco Canyon.
“Big Sur, CA is charging $7.59 a gallon for regular unleaded this week and nearly $8.50 for premium. Who likes the gas price now?” West tweeted.
“Tell me you don’t know anything about Big Sur without saying you don’t know anything about Big Sur,” one Twitter user replied.
“Big Sur trending?” another Twitter user posted. “One of the most lovely places I’ve ever visited. You don’t go there for cheap gas.”
For some, the gorgeous vistas are a fair tradeoff for sky-high gas prices. Still, looks like residents of Big Sur will be going for a lot of scenic walks this year.