Road Trip Day 1: San Francisco to Eureka, California

Finally we wrapped up our work and were on the road again. We crossed the Golden Gate and took Route 1 north. I had been on this section of Route 1 before -- most recently just a week ago to Point Reyes; but the farthest I had been was Muir Beach. When we did our cross-country trip, we initially also wanted to take this route all the way to Seattle, but in the end we had to cut out this part. This trip, then, would be sort of a "redemption time" for us to make up for this missing part.

After over an hour we made our first stop -- among all place -- Muir Beach Overlook. It was a glorious day, although a storm was in the forecast for the next few days for the West Coast (Click on each image to see the high-resolution version)

Scene from Muir Beach Overlook (not Muir Beach itself)

Just then and there, a Wrentit perched right in front of me and started pouring out its exuberant songs.


Continuing north, the view was breathtaking at every turn, and the drive leaves one equally breathless: this part of Route 1 was one of the most twisting and up-and-down road I've driven on, much more so than the section of the same road in the more famous and popular Big Sur.

Salmon Creek Beach in Sonoma County

Beach near Jenner

Point Arena Lighthouse

There were many Harbor Seals basking in the sun on the rocks. They have the most satisfied look in any animal (including humans) I have ever seen -- to them at this moment "life is good!".

Harbor Seals

Harbor Seals

In addition to the awe-inspiring views, if one looks down, there were beauty and charm everywhere along the coast as well: there was a profusion of wildflowers at this time of the year. The succulent Ice Plants were putting out their brilliant blossoms; not to be outdone, California Poppies were also showing off their bright colors.

Ice Plant

California Poppy

Alas, as much as we wanted to stop at every step, we had to keep moving. We made our last stop of the day at Leggett, home of the Chandelier, or "drive-thru" tree. I do not endorse such activity -- I am in fact rather repulsed by the act of digging a hole in a 2,000+ year old tree, but since such act had already been done (and hopefully will not be done again), and we were there, I had to take a picture of it.

Chandelier Tree

In fact, we had to drive in the dark to arrive at Eureka, to get closer to Redwood National Park for our visit the next day.

Click the following links to go to Previous Day: San Francisco or Next Day: Road Trip Day 2: Eureka to Coos Bay, Oregon.

Click the image below to return to the index page of Summer 2013 West Coast Trip: