I decided that I might want to move out back to the west coast one day, so I headed to California (where I was born) and Oregon (where I’m interested in living) for some outdoor fun. I ended up loving both states, but really fell in love with California more than Oregon. The folks of Portland, in particular, were so nice, but a bit…well, stoned all the time. California definitely struck my fancy. I traveled with a Couchsurfer for the first half of the trip and we camped, hiking, climbed, and ate up the coast (while meeting other interesting folks).
Not pictured are other climbs, such as one in Malibu that took place on the ocean amidst pelicans flying by and dolphins cruising by. Or the hummingbirds that flitted around our hiking paths, showing off their rubies and greens. Or the amazingly sketchy (un-kosher) camping spots we picked off the main roads.
Admittedly, we were on a very popular stretch of road that is well-traveled by tourists. Sorry to disappoint! Some spots, however, are worth it, and as a friend said, everyone should drive up rt. 1/101 at some point in his/her lifetime. It’s incredible. And while we did several toursity things (what, we’re not going to drive through the redwoods?), we also did some pretty great things that were told to us by friends, locals, and other knowledgeable folks. It was all wonderful.
I hadn’t been back to the west coast in 20 years, so I had an absolutely fantastic time.
Photo captions below, by number:
(1) Deena belaying at sunset
(2) Joel climbing. Shirt optional.
(3) If you look closely in the middle of the rock face, you can see a bright green shirt. That’s moi. And while it doesn’t look too steep a climb from here…
(4) …from the bottom it ain’t so easy.
(5) Look ma, no hands!
(6) This is a huge rock that was stunning alone, but the curved fog that came in, along with the bright blue sky, made for a crazy landscape.
(8) The landscape is a li’l different in these parts.
(9) Julia Pfeiffers State Park, home of the waterfall onto the beach. Just a little bit pretty.
(11) Before the sunrise at a hidden surfer’s beach.
(15) We stayed with Kaye in San Fran, and ate sandwiches out of the back of the truck for breakfast. What a trooper.
(16) At a beautiful cemetery overlooking the ocean. These two markers stood out to me.
(17) I’m not sure which is more disturbingly awesome–the fact that this color actually occurs in nature, or the fact that Deena owns a skirt of the same color.
(18) It’s actually one hunk of a plant called Unicorn Kelp. There were two spires on this one. Does that mean I’m extra special?
(19) We did quite a few jump shots up the coast. I think I could do it for a living.
(21) Another jump shot through the Chandelier Tree!
(22) Redwood National Forest, Avenue of the Giants.
(23) The guys we stayed with had this giant beanbag chair. Giant as in about four times the size of a normal one. So we jumped onto it many, many times.
(25) Red Bull DOES give me wings, Heather. And I didn’t even spleak!
(26) It looks like a toy, but it’s actually a huge Victorian house in Eureka, CA that only allows members of its secret society in its doors…
(27) Jump in front of Paul Bunyan! Yes, it’s fairly weird. Also, there was a guy on a loudspeaker who creepily watched you when you walked up to this thing. He yelled something offensive as we jumped.
(28) After hunting for agates in a lagoon, we drove through a temperate rain forest and came upon this elk.