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The california Coast Frito meets the Pacific Ocean

No signs said "NO CAMPING OR OVERNIGHT PARKING"

In fact, there were no signs at all. There was just a wide spot on the edge of the highway and a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, so I decided that this was to be my campsite for tonight.

Southbound on a springtime run to the southern deserts, I was just two days into a five week road trip. Last night's overnight was a tire store parking lot somewhere up in Oregon, so this one was a welcome change. Once darkness fell, the highway traffic dropped to zero and this spectacular seascape was mine alone.

It's easy to find, but not so easy to get there. The road from the north is from Legett via CA Hwy 1, and is requires about an hour driving twisty highway through forested mountains. Perfect for motorcyclists, but annoying for the rest of us. From the south, head north on CA 1 from Fort Bragg. Here's the exact location, should you choose to visit.

39°42'08.17" N 123°48'14.03" W

Of course, all that remote privacy comes with a cost. There are no services. Nothing. Be prepared.

The next morning, I spent a half hour exploring the surroundings before moving southwards to Fort Bragg and a proper coffee.

A little farther south, the Cabrillo Highway.

Of course, no trip down the California coast is complete without a stop at Bixby Bridge, made famous by numerous car commercials.

Along the road I entertain myself by shooting the surf. Water is always fun to photograph, especially ocean waves. For an inland-dweller like me, this was heaven.

I've never seen anything like this before. This weird image resulted from a combination of a telephoto lens, a very fast shutter speed and some cooperative sea foam.

Farther south, inland highways tempted me, as did the warmer temperatures away from the coast. For a guy from the Great White North, April in California is hard to beat.

On the Carizzo Plain, the spring bloom carpets the hillsides with flowers. I was especially lucky on this trip, as winter rains had produced plenty of blooms.

It's absolutely amazing how straight these rows are. Robots, I guess. Surely no human could drive a tractor this well. I'm not positive, but I think these are peas.

Returning to the coast, I just had to stop for these California Poppies.

For my final night near the ocean, I elected to spend the night near Cambria.

My next destination was Death Valley, so after another restful night by the sea, it was time to leave the ocean behind. I was bound for Bakersfield and the deserts beyond.

Created By
Peter Mclennan
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