I didn’t know that places like this still existed in California.
Maybe in the Appalachian Mountains or somewhere else in the huge spaces of this country, but… California? I thought I had covered pretty much every part of my native state, and I have never seen anything like this.
But then again, I’ve never been to the Lost Coast.
The Lost Coast is well named. It’s this sliver of coastal land that seems to have been transported straight out of a time machine, from 200 years ago or earlier. It’s raw land, primal. The trees here are ancient and drip with moss that was old before my grandmother was in her mother’s womb.
The space where the land meets the ocean is as savage as they talk about Amazon warrior princess being. It’s awe-inspiring. It’s fearless. It’s undiluted beauty. And it will rip you to shreds and have you for breakfast if you don’t treat it with respect.
The valleys dip long and deep, rippling with green – green is everywhere, everywhere!, who knew green came in a kaleidoscope of shades?
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The morning that we were to leave for the Lost Coast came, wet and cold. I wasn’t particularly happy. The idea of moving into an empty farmstead in that weather (with the kids in tow) held absolutely no romantic appeal for me. I dreaded packing, loading, unloading and was not looking forward to the 2-hour drive to get there either.
I dragged my heels.
My brother Dana was chomping the bit to leave, herding us all like a Border Collie, “hey! Come on! Let’s go! Let’s go!”
– yeah, yeah, okay…okay…we’re coming….
I was missing Mexico. We all were. As happy as we had been coming up, we just weren’t feeling it with the pouring rain and bone-rattling cold.
But we finally got on the road, drove down to Ferndale, this bastion of Victorian-ness – the whole entire town is made of Victorian houses!, turned down a tiny side street in a back lane in a corner of town which surprisingly led us directly away from Ferndale and up a mountain that I seemed to not even have seen before we started climbing it.
It was really weird. Very cool in an “Indiana Jones” kind of way.
Like the small street unlocked some mountain and we were going on a quest.
I sat up straighter in my seat and all of the sudden, my heart felt light and happy – while it was still raining and cold, the day was unfolding into a pretty solid exciting adventure which just kept getting better.
It’s an incredible drive from Ferndale to the Lost Coast. It’s absolutely jaw-dropping. The unguarded cliffs! The dirt roads, switchbacks, more cliffs!
I doubt we would have found it on our own
This is one of the last gems in California. It’s hard to find and hard to reach, and it is call is the “Lost Coast” for a reason; it’s as if it was tucked away in the fold of the map of California, lost and forgotten except by the lucky few who remember… or the luckier still, us, who come upon it by chance and sway, smitten, in a dance for a season.
[the slideshow is from the actual day we arrived… iphone pics and all…]