california coast

35. Up the Coast and Out of California

In 2001, Keil and I rode a jetplane from Indiana to Tuscon, then drove a two-door ford ranger, to the coast, up the Highway 1, from la to san. fran. We road in the bed, atop a futon mattress, luggage and a spare tire. Two of our girlfriends rode in the cab. We pulled a tarp over our heads when the girls in the cab knocked the knock that said: "a cop, get down." 8 years later, we pick up where we'd left it, San Fran up to the coastal redwoods of highway 101 up to portland.

The Point Reyes National Seashore was inland, green and rolling, inter-coastal waterways, small towns, "BBQ", "Oysters", fishing boats, and salty docks. Thereafter, Highway 1 held tight to the coastline. The papery barked sweet funk of the coastal eucalyptus dissolved to fresh pine forest and rocky coastline, we camped a few nights on the slapping shore. Highway-1 ended south of Eureka, in Humbolt County, 1 became 101 or the "redwood highway".

We stopped in on Redwood National Park and a few touristy hubs in the redwoods. I even paid $5 cash to drive my auto right through the pith of a monster.

It seems as soon as humans created autos, they decided they'd like to drive them through trees. This hole was gouged out in the 1930s. The tunnel tree back in Yosemite was driven through way back, before the turn of the century, in the late 1800s.

The end of California. After 15 days, and much experience, it feels pleasant to leave the state for Oregon. The lines on the map that mark the manifested edges of land bodies seem to change everything. Makes me want to howl and my truck needs to toot. Progress beats stagnation?

State stats:

The capital is Sacramento. CA is the 31st state to become official. It became so on the day of my birth in 1850, September the 9th, 132 years before I became official.

As size goes, CA is the 3rd largest state, next to Alaska & Texas. The highest point, as I've previously mentioned, is the top of Mt. Whitney at 14,495 feet above sea level. The lowest point, King's Canyon, at 282 ft. below sea level, is the lowest point in all the western hemisphere. Mt. Whit. and K. Canyon neighbor each other, they live in the same national park--Sequioa-Kings Canyon National Park. They say early Spanish explorers thought California was an island, so they named it after a queen, "Califia", who ruled an island in a Medieval romance story.

People, called Californians, call it The Golden State. Their song: "I Love You, California," Their motto: "Eureka, I have found it." Their tree is the redwood, their animal, the desert tortoise.

We'll leave it at that.