Lost to California

Snap back to reality. Back in Seattle. For the past two weeks we’ve been transients, driving up the California coast, packing a bag every day and going from motel to hotel. The sort of trip where you forget if it’s Monday or Tuesday (or maybe Wednesday?), where every meal was just brought in off the boat, where the biggest decision of the day is, “Should we stop at this beach or keep driving to the next?”

We traveled the Pacific Coast Highway, Highway 1, a classic stretch of road that hugs the sea. We rented a convertible and drove from San Diego to San Francisco. I had done parts of this drive before, but never the full thing. California has a strange, magical pull over me, and I wanted Byron to experience that magic.

What I wrote last year is still true:

Everything down there just seems scented with a kind of forgetfulness — like there is nowhere else in the world to be, nowhere else in the world you should be.

I really think I temporarily lost my mind down there. It may still be floating around somewhere off the California coastline. I assume it will meander back home at some point, back up to Seattle, but for now I’m content to let it wander.

USS Midway in San Diego.
Starting in San Diego, visiting the USS Midway.

USS Midway in San Diego

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Birds at Torrey Pine State Reserve.

View from Torrey Pines State Reserve.
View from Torrey Pines State Reserve.

Vroom vroom.

Crystal Cove State Park
Crystal Cove State Park.

Great blue heron at Crystal Cove State Park.
Crystal Cove State Park.
Crystal Cove State Park.
Crystal Cove State Park.
Crystal Cove State Park.

Will Rogers State Beach
Will Rogers State Beach in Santa Monica, where we used to go swimming with my grandparents.
Morro Bay
Morro Bay.

Morro Bay

 

Pelicans at Moonstone Beach
Pelicans at Moonstone Beach

Pelicans at Moonstone Beach
Sea lions.

Big Sur.
Entering the crazy twisting Big Sur.

Pacific Coast Highway in Big Sur

Big Sur
We stopped at the Henry Miller Memorial Library and started chatting with the young woman at the cash register. She was from the Netherlands and had just arrived in Big Sur yesterday. She’d been driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in her van, liked it where she was, and decided to stay. That’s the kind of place Big Sur is.

Big Sur

Big Sur
Yellow flowers at Big Sur

Redwood trees in Big Sur.
Even the little Redwoods tower.

Juan Hiquera Creek in Big Sur

Point Lobos State Reserve
Artist Francis McComas called Point Lobos the “greatest meeting of land and water in the world.” I’d have to agree.

Point Lobos State Reserve
Point Lobos State Reserve


Point Lobos State Reserve
Harbor seals at Point Lobos State Reserve
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Eucalyptus trees.
Eucalyptus. My favorites.

Highway 80 in California

Quarter horses.
Pit stop to a family member’s horse ranch in northern California.

Quarter horse.
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