Our second day on the road trip to Fort Bragg included exploring north of Fort Bragg along Highway One until it veers inland and reaches Highway 101. From there we went south to Highway 20 and took that back home. The day was quite wonderful. We got to see portions of the coastline which are so remarkable and yet so isolated.
Rock outcrops dot the coastline and each turn we took seemed to show yet new vistas. We ooh’ed and aah’ed a lot and got to see pretty much the whole route untraveled by fellow humans.
In one place after Highway One went inland, a deer darted in front of the car by about 30 feet. I slowed down. Highway One is equal parts of amazing coastal drive and inland forests, valleys and streams which run through deep walled valleys to the ocean. There are wetlands and small beaches with no access at all. Just an amazing diversity and I think everyone should drive this part of Highway One. Especially if you have driven the more publicized Big Sur drive from about San Luis Obispo to Monterey.
We saw a sign also for the drive through tree which we went to and drove the rental car through. We stopped and got the required souvenirs after driving through the still living tree. I would say the amount of clearance was about 5 inches on each side of the car. Vacationing with the daughter force is always good. She enjoys the scenery, the driving, the food. When my ex-wife and I used to tour and camp in California, there were these series of memories of the places and what we did there. My ex-wife has carefully allowed those memories to simply lapse in favor of making new memories with her guy now. I get that I think.
People want to lose the memories that were of some troubled thing and focus on the good things. Luckily my daughter enjoys making new memories of trips here and there and really seems to enjoy the art of the road trip and my desire to stop along the coast every so often and see the sights.
On our second day, I did this a lot and was wondering if my daughter would start complaining at driving about a quarter mile sometimes and just stopping at a rest area or pull out and take photos, stomp around, watch the ocean and rocks and the clouds and sky all contribute to meeting to the west. The ocean seemed a playful thing sometimes and others seemed focused on destroying the rocks still standing. Perhaps by drilling those holes through them.
On our second day we saw all this and more. I’ll make a pitch for the slow drive along the Pacific Coast Highway. Just do it. If you decide its just another drive on just another road; you will miss the lost beaches, the fog touching the oceans. The dilapidated barns which seem to stay standing even with gravity and age making their demands.
For me the main thing was the ocean and the forests and the sights. For my daughter I think it was the same. She loved the stops or so I think. Perhaps just put up with them I thought for awhile but after asking her she did not dissemble. She loves to see the ocean in its playful, angry and pensive states.
The second day I would say we got to see the Ocean in all its stages.
After Highway 1 goes inland, you end up on Highway 101 and from there we went south to Highway 20 which runs a crooked route back to Fort Bragg. A beautiful, isolated, and wondrous 2 hours of a drive puttering along at about 30 mph. We pulled over each time a car wanted by and we felt the time spent seeing the trees and not the ocean made the difference.
The last day
Today was the last day for us. It always seems both positive and negative for me. I get to spend time with Arry and then its taken away and I have to go back to the way it is. Today, we drove down Highway One to California Highway 128 which takes a wondrous route to Highway 101 almost at Cloverdale. From there we trended south and saw the wineries and green hills and finally the Richmond bridge which took us back. Perhaps back to things we both have to do but may not really want to do at all times. I wonder what it would be like to just take Arry to our own place where we could live. Where the time would pass and she and I would do the dad and daughter things which make us happy or that challenge us. That is not to be and I know the way it is is the way it shall be until she is 18 years old.
So I drive to her home and thankfully then drive to my room. I would not trade and move back for all the gold. Its simply not worth it and it was not for the 5 years I spent living there. Now I get vacations and I can plan multiple trips each year. I dropped my daughter off and then drove myself home. There will be another trip to another place for us. Perhaps another train or road trip. I have my traveling companion in my daughter.