Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lost Coast On The Quick


Three times to Humboldt in one year: Indigenous People's Week '08, Big Time '09, and Ari/Jeremy Wedding '09. While heading down to the wedding, I stopped off at Humboldt to hang out.

Before going into hanging out in Humboldt, I have to mention how FUN it was to ride my MINI on the 299 just north of Crescent City. Taking the tight curves, and operating my machine fast around the turns was purely sexual--I was smiling and literally laughing as I was hugging and caressing the road! Ok, back to reality....

For a first stop, stopped at A&J's for some Beatle's Rock Band (man, I need to get this!). We then hit up downtown Arcata and made a trip to the new Arcata Theater Lounge (previously, Arcata Theater). This places is AWESOME. We made it here for Silent Movie Night. Back in the day, this was a big airplane hangar of a space, but now, it's chill, chic, and dare I say modern (and this is in the town of the hippie). There were about 20 films on tap for the night, we ended up catching a couple, including Snow White.

Arcata Lounge

I was crashing at Chag's for the night, so we made trip short. I made it to Lowry's and crashed on the couch....I was so tempted to play with Trey's Millenium Falcon before going to bed!

The next morning, I hit up Stanton's for breakfast with the Lowry's, and then got to hang out with Chag, Trey, and Jeremy (babysitter) back at the house. I could write a whole other blog about Chag's work and hobbies, but I'll leave that for him to write on his own. But I do have to mention a few things. Holy smokes! I had no idea about the magnitude of Chag's comic collection. Wow! I collected a comic or two in my day, but dang, I have to bow down to Chag's library. I then got to hear a little about Chag's work with California Native Veterans and see some photos related to this work. It's so impressive to see Chag's work, and his knowledge in this field. After this, I went down memory lane and watched Chag's "homemade" video gift to his mother Sandra. Basically, he captured a few days in his life at Humboldt. He's one of my best friend's, so I was in there. It's crazy to think that was filmed over 13 years ago! We were so young.

We then headed over to Humboldt to have lunch with Bag o' Donuts, Vinny Bag o' Donuts. We picked Vinny up on campus---and I had to endure a couple of minutes of heckling by Vincenzo about my new vehicle....I don't know what he has against "Mini Coopers" (he always has to say "Mini Cooper" in a high feminine voice to try and rile me), but I think he secretly wishes he had one.

Straight Pimps

We headed over to Sunnybrae's Fiesta Cafe for lunch. Man, we just hung out for an hour, but wow---my jaw and gut were sore from laughing so hard. It's always like that when the "Three Amigos" get together (Elsie, I would write what you call us on here, but.....naaaah!!!) ;)

So, I had intended to leave Humboldt early to hit the Lost Coast, but I'm so glad I bent my schedule around---I can be so anal about these things. "Corey, you gotta loosen up!" I said to myself. So yeah, I ended up zipping down toward the Lost Coast around 4pm. I made a pitstop in Ferndale (it's the quaint Victorian town featured in a few movies---Outbreak & The Majestic for example). Here I picked up some provisions & a bottle of a local brew. Then I was on my way away from civilization---to The Lost Coast.

Downtown Ferndale

There are roads and then there are roads. This is one of THE drives for me. The road is tiny, rough, and crappy, but it makes this drive what it is---a masterpiece for the senses. The road immediately climbs above Ferndale, and then you curve through pastures once on top of the King's range. You know you are Lost within minutes. The first big drop takes you quickly down (with several hairpin switchbacks) into the Bear Creek valley. Before going down, this is where you get your first high-elevation glimpses of the Pacific. Another fast climb out of the valley and a jaunt through some more pastures, and then you're roll onto one of the climax's of the drive.

Loved The Way These Trees Looked


Yeah, I filmed this while driving one-handed Down A Curvy Road

My Favorite Piece Of Road

Here is one of the paramount views of the Lost Coast from above. It's a quick view, because you quickly head toward the ocean and down--fast of course. The elevation change on this road is something you wouldn't find on one of your more traveled highways...perhaps it was designed that way to keep this area "lost".

Once down on the beach, the road parallels the beach for several miles. Sometimes you're close enough to the water to be sprayed by crashing waves. Then this road heads inland and up to the microscopic town of Petrolia. Normally, I'd head that way, but I only had about 90min of light. So I decided to park on this stretch of the road and make a short hike of my overnight stay on the beach.

Parked & Ready To Go

The first word to come to mind when I had my pack on my back, and walking away from my car: wind. It was soo windy. I guess that's the price to pay for cloudless skies. With the wind I decided to try and find a place which would offer the best protection for the gale force breezes. My destination---a fair sized rock-formation within a half mile from the road.

My Tent Was On The Other Side Of This Rock


On Top Of The Rock Castle

Lost Coast Lichen

The Tunnel

The rock looked like my personal castle---equipped with a little bridge/tunnel. On the back side of the castle, were a couple of spots high up on the rock which looked perfect for my tent and a small bonfire. My first task was to gather up wood for a fire. I then just soaked the scenery. I tried to read a little, but the views, sounds of the waves and and smell of salt water proved too much of a distraction.

The Best Sunsets


Within an hour or so, the sun began it's disappearing act. This was one of the first times I've been on the Lost Coast when I'd actually get to see an actual sunset--in most cases clouds sneak in to cover the sun's escape. So, while atop my tower, I watched the sunset. It might be seem like a boring show, but I could watch reruns of this anytime. A cool thing about the sunset was that within minutes it was followed by another act: the moon rise. The nearly full moon rose above the King's range and lit up the beach like an early dawn.

video
Might Be Boring, But It's A Sunset In Its Entirety

Moonrise

Ok, enough with the astronomical theater, I had to set up my tent, make dinner, and build a fire--easier said than done. As the star of the night lingered, the wind stole the show, and demanded its full attention. My tent wanted to act like a balloon and fly the ocean blue on several times, but I was able to keep it at bay. Dinner was easy and quick. My fire was surprisingly easy to start. I was able to start it with my flint & stone set up, and within 1-2 seconds, it raged full on with all the oxygen jetting into it. I stared like a caveman of old into the fire for a while, but slumber called.

Hmmm...as sleeps on the Lost Coast go, this was not on the top of my list. The wind was just bad. Actually it wasn't the wind, it was more the sand which foiled a good night sleep. Sand was everywhere. The wind bullied its way through the screens of my tent like nothing. So, sand was all up in my business. I slept, but I kept waking up to blow sand off my lips and dust my face off. It was rough.

"I wonder what Bear Grylls would do," I thought to myself.

The Hike Back

In the morning, and for days afterward, I was finding sand in crevices all over--my ears were full of sand for days. But it's all an adventure right. This is what it's all about. It's all about stories. The Lost Coast provides, and I know I'll be back again.

...with a better tent.

(now on to a wedding!)

Driving Through Redwoods: Wedding-bound

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