January 24, 2012
The Start of the 1
California’s Route 1 starts, or stops depending on which way you drive it, in a sleepy area of northern Mendocino county known for its “trees.” (I’ll give you a hint; some are big and red and the others small and green.) An unassuming sign for Fort Bragg designates the turnoff from 1o1 onto one of the country’s most celebrated highways. Shortly after sunrise, Spencer and I pulled onto the 1 after spending a few days in Arcata and headed south for San Francisco.
Cutting through Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin Counties, the 1 wraps around cliffs and through small towns. Despite looking similar to the Oregon Coast, the Norcal is culturally very different from its neighbor to the north. If the quazi-monster truck is the vehicle of choice in the southern Oregon, the 80′s bio diesel drinking Mercedes wagon gets the honks and waves in this neck of the woods.
The Mendocino Coast.
An old growth eucalyptus tree.
Vultures in Marin County.
As we worked our way down the coast a hundred miles a day, the weather warmed up and the rain subsided. Slowly the days lengthened. Later in the year I will head north, but now it’s time to head south.
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