Aistė | Travel | May 06, 2010
If you mention USA and road trip to any European, the first idea that comes to ones mind is Route 66. The road that continues about 2500 miles through the entire North America from Chicago to Los Angeles.
However, we had a little bit different idea. Our idea as usual was about the water, waves and wind. And with those three in mind, there is no better highway than Pacific Highway One. It curves through Oregon mountains and valleys, cuts through California redwood forests. And continues through such giants as San Francisco that literally have risen from the ashes in less than a hundred years and Los Angeles that regarding the history, together with the rest of California was bought from Mexico. After these West Coast giants Highway One enters Mexico through Tijuana (that has over 300 K boarder crossings a day). It is awesome that you can almost always see the waves on your right while following this road.
Oregon is fascinating. Locals say: Oregon gets wind, waves and humid climate helps the best weed to grow. If you would look at the topographic map, it’s obvious that mountains in Oregon goes straight into the ocean. The view is unbelievable. Like in the fairy tale – high mountains on your left sometimes followed by the small valleys where some mustangs are resting and then sudden drop, turn to the left then to the right and on the other side the land just disappears. Somewhere down the cliff you can see the waves washing some steep rocks. Shore line is curvy so every bay has its rock sticking out of the water and creating perfect wind shadow for the surfers…
Since we still didn’t had our equipment and had to take it in SF and LA, we were in a hurry. It’s a pity we just drove by such wave spots as Pistol River, New Port, Florence and etc. without stopping.
Entered California. No doubt that its one of the richest economics in the world. And not only by its gross domestic product. Its nature. In Europe you could never find such wide open areas where mountains, valleys, plains and the ocean meets… Fluorescent grass like brushed on the rocks. Red wood forests shoots up to 200 feet or even more. Huge and thick. River “Eel” curved between the mountains like the real eel. You can find spots where one bridge crosses the river three times. Everything is so high that while crossing bridge built in 1933, you have to look intensely down to see the top of the trees. And the road… Seen in “Need for speed”. Without any markings or signs…
It rained heavily as we entered the North California. We saw some rock and mud slides. We tried to push our car as much to the left as possible, because on the right – 150-200 feet down – only Pacific ocean waves and sharp rocks.
Sun was already down when we decided to have some rest. Few campings and State Parks were closed so we were very glad when we found one opened. But our joy was a little bit too early. All the campers were located in some damp. Campers themselves didn’t look better that the place – almost all total wrecks. No one was sitting cozily by the fire. On the contrary, all creatures I’ve seen were acting very strangely. One, no one knows who or what, was putting something to the ground and dancing something hardly understandable. One girl was walking by with her dog that knew how to attack the car and cats, cats everywhere around…Real horror movie where zombies will start to come out of the ground right about…now… We waited for the manager of the camping for twenty minutes and then decided to run while we still can. After few kilometers we found a civilized camper where we spent the night.
Overall in US you can spend a night in campings that are marked with special signs. But so you know, those signs like to disappear before they get you to the actual camping. Big highways such as I-5 have rest areas. Still all the trucks rest there , so you couldn’t expect coziness in there. everywhere else you can find State Parks where it is allowed to camp in tents, cars and rv’s. These parks are usually situated in tourist areas, so if you lucky, you can find some over night stay with as awesome view.
So, we were driving Highway One and were watching it’s curves, changes and evolution from the narrow mountain road that is having a hard time to fit in between the rocks. We were observing how this narrow road without markings and signs in Oregon changes into six line highway in the South of California and with intense trafic merges into Tijuana and becomes the first, the one and only highway in Baja California, Mexico. We spent few wonderful days in San Franacisco and headed further south, through LA and well known kite spots Ventura, Pismo beach and Humboldt lagoons. We passed by legendary surfing spots (that The Beach Boys were singing about) Pacifica, Malibu, Santa Cruz, Dana Point and of course San Clemente where three brothers Gudauskas live. We stopped in LA just to take care of our business and the same evening we already reached San Diengo – the last stop before wild Mexico and waves…