It’s iconic America. The central California coastline on CA Highway 1 is the stuff of legends, songs, books, and movies. In those, you’ve seen the drive along the rugged cliffs that drop down to the Pacific Ocean. Amazing views. I’m camp hosting for 4 months in this incredible location. My first two months are in a state park that is filled with central CA Redwoods. They don’t grow as big as the northern CA ones in the famed Redwood forest, but they do grow big. The old growth is spectacular and the earthy smell is intoxicating (though it seems to be doing a number on my allergies…).
Inside the forest, the temperature is about 5 degrees cooler than on the coast, mainly because not a lot of sun penetrates the canopy. The park sits between ridges so the sun comes in late and leaves early, especially in winter when it is low on the horizon anyway. It’s not horribly cold at night and pleasant during the day. But I need more warm clothes! Luckily there is a laundromat on site, so I just keep washing the same clothes. I’m exploring the trails a bit and will do more as I get acclimated. For right now the park roads are enough to keep me active. Glad I have my hiking boots. Wear ’em every day.
The park is filled with animals and birds. I’ve seen everything in the air from turkey buzzards to hummingbirds. On the ground, I’ve seen the elusive bobcat, lots of deer, a skunk, and some ornery wild turkeys. Word on the street is that there are places along the coast and in Carmel where whales may be spotted!
While the beauty is intense and the experience is marvelous, CA costs are no joke!! I only come to town once a week (50 miles round trip) and otherwise make trips of just a couple of miles to get good cell phone reception, make calls, and get downloads. While I was prepared to be without any communication at my campsite, it turns out that random cell phone signals penetrate the park in certain locations. Luckily there are a couple very near my campsite. The signal strength is good for texts and Twitter. It won’t download pics, vids, or Facebook – but I can keep in touch with folks and make phone dates, lol. Sometimes inside my Airstream, the phone starts downloading texts and emails. Random! The signal lasts about 30 seconds; never enough time to respond. But I know that the next time I’m walking in the park, I can reply.
I’m calling this the Big Adventure! I have lots of time to read and write. I have finished three Kerouac novels about his road adventures – On the Road, Big Sur, and Desolation Angels. I’ve enjoyed them all (to a degree) but Desolation Angels is my favorite. It’s about his time in the Northern Cascades National Park as a fire tower watcher and then his extended travels from there. I’ve started several stories that might become novels; now that my Socialite and Suffragettes series is complete – book 3 comes out in February. The one I think may have the most promise is called Forest Gates. Not sure where it’s going yet, but that’s part of the fun of the creative process.
Enjoy these few pics and I’ll update again when I’m in town with a good wi-fi signal and time. I’m here until the end of February!