Discovery - July 13

Entry from the 2020 Travel Stories: Discovery

Day: 3

Miles: 192mi

Places: Garberville, CA

Myers Flat, CA

Eureka, CA

McKinleyville, CA

Trinidad, CA

Orick, CA

Crescent City, CA

The road out of the campsite was not smooth, but nothing like what I had imagined.  In the night time, the road seemed treacherous.  I had driven slowly and scared to the site, thankful to find a spot to sleep at the end of the drive.  When I awoke in the morning, I was shocked to see that I was surrounded by an open field, with huge trees protecting me from the sun, and more in the distance.  The attendant was kind and let me stay in the site past my time, and I was able to rearrange my set up with the knowledge I had acquired from a few days on the road.  

Avenue of the Giants in Myers Flat, CA
Avenue of the Giants in Myers Flat, CA

The morning had rejuvenated me, and I was a bit more confident to move north along the coast.  I decided to film a segment of the drive, which, at the time, felt perilous.  Looking back on it now, I was so naive and timid on what was actually a very welcoming road.  

Coastal view in Trinidad, CA
Coastal view in Trinidad, CA

Trinidad reminded me of Santa Barbara, particularly the coast line.  When you looked to the south you saw the curves of the coast creating a halo at the intersection of earth and ocean.  The low laying fog gave me a sense of home.  I did not realize how long I would be in driving the coast line in California, and I was ready to start the next chapter of my journey.  

Freshwater Lagoon on Redwood Highway, CA
Freshwater Lagoon on Redwood Highway, CA

The lengths of the road along the coast, seemingly ever repeating as if dejavu.  The trees towered above, matched in scale by the plunging cliffs.  The only thing that was out of place was me, and the spatial awareness was overpowering. I drove until 11pm, stopping outside of Crescent City.

Roadway in Crescent City, CA

It was dark when I arrived at Wilson Creek Beach.  I could hear the ocean and smell the salt, but I could not see where I was.  A camper was 50 feet from me, so I felt a sense of comfort knowing I was not alone.  I laid awake, marveling at the journey of the last few days.  I had not had any internet access, and was left alone along the massive coastline.  I had not anticipated how long the drive north would be, and how small I would feel among the elements.  The Redwoods were no bigger than the giants in Sequoia National Park, where I had been frequently, yet it felt different along the coast.  And even though there were no trees around me here on the beach, I knew they were only a few minutes in any direction by car.  Everything felt huge and vast and engulfing.  

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