Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A "Little" Trip Around the Block -- Whew - A Long Day!!

 Orinda noticed this little, innocuous sign while traveling the Avenue of Giants and thought it would be a great side trip. It looked great -- wonderful scenery, ocean views -- but Rick noticed the steep grades and limited services available, but really, how hard could it be?

 The first phase was through huge redwoods on a very narrow road and very sharp curves. Rick was VERY glad he was not in the motorhome on this part of the road!

We began to climb rapidly as we hit the coastal hills (small mountains!), with the road taking some amazing twists and turns. 180 degree switchbacks were nothing, as can be seen by our GPS above. The interesting thing was that this sort of picture was repeated many times during our drive. Fortunately, we were in no hurry and enjoyed the scenery.

We popped out of the ravines to find the mountain top as shown here. The terrain is amazing as we approached the Pacific Ocean and the road, while indeed paved, was very rough, but we had no problem as we took it slow.

Obviously, before we got to the ocean, we had to descend, during which we crossed this old truss bridge. Orinda was a bit surprised at the wood roadway and Rick thought that yet again, he was delighted to be in the Buick and not the Winnebago!
Finally, after about 50 miles, we hit the Pacific. This was really interesting since we were twisting back and forth with the road and all of a sudden made a turn and there was the ocean. We also realized that we had seen only a couple of vehicles on much of the route -- be sure your car is in good shape and that the gas tank in full!

The road paralleled the ocean coast for several miles and provided amazing views. This may have been the first time we have visited an ocean coast and seen no one else. 
This area is known as the "Lost Coast" and we could see why.This rugged beauty is very hard to access and there is absolutely no development here other than a few cows that we saw. This is amazing and allowed us to see how the coast looked to the first explorers hundreds of years ago.

This is a forbidding coast line with rocks and heavy surf wherever you look. While beautiful, this would be a scary view for any mariner in the area and we could easily understand why so many ship wrecks occurred along the coast. 

While there were no people around, there were thousands of birds on this large rock located about 1/2 mile offshore. The birds looked to be mostly gulls, but there were many others as well.

After a few miles on the coast, the road turned inland and we began a terrific climb that seemed to go straight up the hill. This is no place for the car to stall!

 Immediately, we climbed back to the mountain top and could see fog moving in. The terrain was mostly fields and ravines with a few trees until we cleared the top of the mountain range. 

After the summit, the fog hit and we crawled along for a couple miles, then it cleared as fast as it came. We drove back to Fortuna and back to our RV, and were impressed at the great variety of terrain we had been in during the past few hours.

1 comment:

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Great trip, but definitely Not in the RV:)