Sunday, 4 December 2011

Four Hour Roller Coaster Ride!

We had heard that California Highway One along the coast was a wild ride and it did not disappoint! Chris maintained that the trip was fun as he skillfully manoeuvred the triple s-curves, hairpin turns, and cliff-hanger
corners and the constant changes in elevation. With my clenched heart and knotted stomach, I'm not sure fun would be my adjective of choice. The scenery was spectacular and every view seemed more impressive as we rounded each bend. The Pacific's waves were easily 15-20' high and pitched up dazzling white spray when they crashed ashore or against the apartment sized rocks just off shore. Some cliffs blushed red and orange  against the bold blue sky. We moved quickly from sun to haze and mist. Lacey, pale green moss hung from the branches of many Sitca Spruce as if they've been "tinselled" for Christmas. Strong winds have
sculpted a variety of trees into the unusual reminiscent of Dr.Seuss.

Often driving at sky level, above the cliff tops we were driving at the same height as 'California Condors" Two or three of them would appear just above or beside our windows gliding easy on the wind's up drafts.

The landscape suddenly changed to bright green rolling hills. Ranches stretched for miles and cattle wandered everywhere, some to the highest elevations. Luckily we did not come upon any but there were
highway signs warning drivers to watch out for cattle on the road, as if the roads were not treacherous enough. Passed a few smaller scale dairy farms and many goat herds perhaps being raised for their milk too.

Vineyards were next. Napa Valley winery estates were gated with ornate iron, massive hedges of roses, flowering shrubs of fuchsia and orange and well tended palm trees. The vines' fall foliage rambled in yellows, deep oranges and wine-reds. Carpets of brilliant green grass between the rows contrasted starkly with the leaves. "Backstage" were rounded rolling highlands decked out in muted tones of fawn and sage.

Settled in Canyon Creek Rv Campground, we were most ready to relax and savour the memories of our awe-inspiring day. With a view of palm trees and prickly pear cactus just outside CC, we made a special toast to the coast!

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