Sunday, January 19, 2014

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Drive Along the Lost Coast of California, Awesomeness and a Surprise

Copyright 2014, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

May 19, 2013, (Yes, LAST May!)

Leaving Ferndale behind, we head to Mattole Road on our way to drive to the Lost Coast area of California, we hear we will be having an adventure.  To see why, you might want to visit this Wikipedia page.

Or, visit, Trip Advisor here.  If you read down the entries a bit you will find references to "intimidating driving", "torturous mountain roads", "be warned...the road is in terrible condition", "road seemed to lack a surface in many parts".  Now, you know those challenging sounding descriptions had Man and I chatting before we left for our drive.  I was a bit concerned, he not so much, and we agreed, if necessary we would turn around (we have done so before and I am sure we will again).  We do have Jolly (4 wheel drive available if necessary).

Heading out - -

Our trip started out at an altitude of about 75 feet above sea level, we gradually climbed in altitude to 1395 feet, there was a spot of sea mist, err, fog - -

The road curves, here and there, at one point we spied the Pacific through the mist, err, fog - -

After a further climb in altitude to about 1835 feet, we started down to sea level again.  The closer to sea level, the more clear it became - -

Then, we would turn another corner and it would be hazy again, these trees, alone on the hilltop charm me - -

You can see the rough texture of the pavement, the top of the hill, the ocean - -

It is open range land - - do believe these two were at least as curious about us as we were of them.

Dropping down more, each turn, of course, brings a different view of the sea, you can see where the road surface in this area was a lot of gravel, but, still rather smooth, considering what we were expecting.

At the top of another hill, a steep incline and a massive hunk o rock (guessing volcanic in nature) sitting in the Pacific.

Beach, most likely private, there were no places to pull off, but, we did slow down and enjoy the view - -

We have dropped almost to sea level once again, we have saw a young deer, some wild flowers, one lane roads, many curves, pristine nature, some pretty barns (remember, I posted those), open spaces, vast spaces. For the most part nature and space empty of civilization, miles and miles of empty space.  Peaceful space.

There is a ranch home here, just feet from the Pacific Ocean, in front of the house, a large planting of Red Hot Peppers.  I love the barbed wire in the background.  Man took these photos, he can still teach me much about photography!

You can see more Red Hot Peppers, including some more from this same planting at Reflection's Flora and Fauna.

The variety of land formations never fail to astound and amaze me.  Sometimes the formations are in the water.

And, not far down the road, maybe around a mile or so, we now have sand dunes - -

We have driven miles and miles seen maybe 5 vehicles, cows, water, flowers, grass, trees.  No businesses, no parks, no rest areas, and no humans except those driving vehicles.  We now turn inland again, leaving the Lost Coast behind.  And, then, I see - - yes - - a zebra.  Out here.  I know there is a story, but, I don't know it.  I did snoop around a bit on the net and found references to the zebra and a giraffe here as of October 2011.  I did not see the giraffe.

So far the scenery has lived up to expectations, wonderful.  The drive and road conditions were OK, as long as you went slow and easy.  This is no race track and the trip cannot be hurried.  If you hurry the roads will seem rough and intimidating and all those other descriptions.  Man said the curves that were hard to see around and the steep inclines were of the most concern.  If you take your time and be careful and cautious, this drive is breathtaking!  (Of course, it helps a lot if you have a great chauffeur.)   But, don't tell anyone, it might get crowded out there on the Lost Coast, and that could ruin it all, because truly, the beauty of this drive is the remoteness, the lack of crowds, the drastic terrain.



my Heritage Happens said...

The kinds of rides and photos I love to take! The zebra really cracks me up though. I have never seen a zebra just out of the blue before. As always, great photos!

Lynne Carothers said...

That rock offshore in the third from the last photo is certainly a very large pig! Now what is it doing swimming? tee hee