By Maggie -- Sep 14, 2014
The California coast has been a foggy and rocky, twisty-and-turny experience so far. Highway 1 hugs the coast after you get out of the Redwoods, but the speed limit is 20-30mph, so you're in for a long haul if you plan on driving it the whole way down. We have nothing better to do, so we're planning on sticking to the coast as much as possible, even if it means lots of slow, winding driving.
The day before last (Friday) we hung out at the Patrick's Point State park day-use area for most of the afternoon. Ryan made kabobs for dinner and we listened to a local high school football game broadcasted over the radio. It was really fun pretending like we were rooting for one of the teams. The broadcaster would get so excited when a touchdown was made, and we'd both throw our hands up and start yelling and chanting. It reminded us of that TV show "Friday Night Lights", where football is the center of all things, and people actually do listen to it over the radio if they can't physically make it to the game.
Saturday we spent driving through Arcata, Eureka, and Humbolt State Park. In Arcata we stopped at a local farmers market in the center of town. I had been there before as a teenager with my family when we went on a California college roadtrip tour before I committed to going to UCSC. The town looked exactly the same and the farmers market was (not surprisingly) the best one both of us had ever been to. Farm hippies in norcal take their fresh and organic produce VERY seriously. And it's all pretty cheap! I do miss that. We picked up a bunch of fresh stuff to make my chicken veggie tortilla soup that night, and headed south to find our campsite.
We had found a spot north of Fort Bragg that was apparently a free campsite. The first time we tried to find it, we drove right past it. Same with the second time. The third time, after putting in the exact coordinates into google maps, we found it... but it didn't look like a campsite. It looked more like a dirt pullout off the road. We parked and hung out for a bit, but I wasn't feeling too comfortable. I left a note in the window in case someone came by to call me before they towed our little home away...
No one called, and when we came back from the beach, we settled in and made dinner. Slowly the traffic died down. We watched pods of dolphins playing near the rocks down the 200-foot cliff below us. It was the perfect quiet evening, and best of all, it was free.