yes it’s true virginia, the wild sea and tall trees really do talk to each other here on this northern coast and what they say is holy.
dottie leans towards the giant trees. i lean towards the great roaring beast of an ocean. but we agree that both are very fine. very alive. equal in their ability to awe.
some beaches i visited and loved dearly were:
- centerville beach close to ferndale
- moonstone beach just south of trinidad
- trinidad state beach
there are so many more, including pullouts off highway 101 between mckinleyville and trinidad that will steal your breath away with their black sand and blue-green waters. so dramatic.
we pulled over somewhere the other day and bowed to the great ocean. i screamed into the waves YES YES YES YES!
we have ventured out far and wide – as far north as crescent city to the jedediah smith redwood park. there are so very many hamlets and kitschy places to pull over. it’s a bit like climbing into a time machine and dialing the knob back to the 50’s in places.
there are great stretches of sand where you can explore caves, sea stacks, and waterfalls. layers of rolling waves one after another. we sat on flat rocks and drank in the sunshine.
the air is my perfect temperature range between 45-60. i could live in this climate all year long. in the morning the fog rests in the pointy conifers all along the roads and hills. we saw deer leaping over fences into pools of sunshine. grazing, but alert.
we saw herds of roosevelt elk Cervus elaphus roosevelti. they were hunted to near extinction by early settlers in this area, but now number in the thousands. we saw some almost daily on drives to and from the redwoods and all points north. i regret that i only have this crap photo to share, but i don’t have my nikon cord to upload pics to my computer so this will have to do until i get home. some info from the national parks brochure:
General herd locations are the Crescent Beach area, Gold Bluffs Beach and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Elk Meadow, Lower Redwood Creek, park lands in the Orick Valley, and the Bald Hills. The Bald Hills herd is by far the largest in parks, numbering around 250 animals. The other herds range in size from approximately 10 to 50 animals.
let’s discuss rivers. there are many, but surely the most beautiful is the startling aqua-colored smith river as seen from along howland hill road off hwy 199 in the forests east of crescent city. no pics to show you at the moment, but they are coming. it is truly a jewel in the crown of the far northern california forests.
my favorite drives were over the dirt/gravel roads of humboldt and del norte counties. best not to do in an rv, pulling a trailer, or in a low vehicle.
- bear river ridge road
- one-way coastal drive near the mouth of the klamath
- holland hill road in del norte county
- gravel road south of centerville beach that dead ends after a narrow hair-raising ride.
on that last road we turned around in between 2 blind curves and decided after we exhaled that it was a perfect metaphor for life.
i’m real sorry that my pics aren’t matching my story, but things are jumbly on my end and i’m cobbling bits and pieces together. thinks of these postcards like a patchwork quilt.
maybe the kind you pick up at the goodwill.
the land has rolled out in front of us like a great map. where will we go? what will we see?
nearly 30 years in california and this is my first trip to her far north. it’s a 2-day drive.
so much to behold.
so many quiet places for reflection.
glad i could share a small bit of it with you. i’m tucked into my hotel for the night. dropped dottie off at the oakland airport on my way back to LA.
i’ve got at least one more postcard up my sleeve plus some more gouache sketchbook pages to share. hope you’re lookin’ good and feelin’ fine. see you soon.