Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Lost Coast

Ed and I found the Lost Coast a few years back and lost our hearts to this section of the California coast. The drive is rugged and slow. The road is narrow, twisting, steep, and pot-holed. Slides are frequent. Open range cattle wander onto the road. Deer are common. The reward is huge. Breathtaking views and isolation is all-surround quiet. Our first trip to the Lost Coast was with pup Roshi (before Annie and before Benton). We were still tent camping. Looking back at our night's adventure makes us giggle to this day.

Dark was quickly approaching. We, of course, had no idea where we were or what was around the next bend in the road. We were lost in the raw splendor of this wild place. We could see from our map there were no services so we searched for a good place to pitch a tent. There it was. A grassy-sandy field along side the ocean. Ed, me and the dog, gathered up our gear, crawled through the barbed wire fence and headed for our campsite.

Setting up camp was a blowing-wind challenge, with the wind taking hold of our tent and tossing it every which way. I finally got inside the collapsed tent to hold it down so Ed could secure the corners. I don't remember all the details but I do remember a very long night. The wind blew so relentlessly the sand under our tend was blown away leaving only a narrow patch of grass. The three of us were left clinging to this thin grassy strip as if we were on a narrow mountain ridge. The tent's zipper gave way sometime during the night resulting in the relocation of the sand from under out tent to inside our tent, or so it seemed.

The morning brought calm. We peered out anticipating a beautiful ocean view but saw huge eyes staring back at us. The pasture was inhabited and the inhabitants were very curious. We found ourselves eye to eye with a dozen cattle. Our challenge now was to exit the tent, break camp, and get back to our car, unscathed. Naturally Roshi wanted to give chase so along with watching our backs, arms full of gear, crawling through a fence, an overly enthusiastic dog was wrapping his leash around our ankles.

We keep returning to the Lost Coast. Thistle has replaced the tent; Benton has replaced Roshi; and age has replaced youth, but our hearts sing still as we search for our boondock site for the night.


In the name of the bee
And of the butterfly
And of the breeze, amen!
~ Emily Dickinson


  1. Where exactly is the Lost Coast? I try to list a city or two so readers can orient themselves. I assume you were north of San Francisco, is that correct? We love that entire stretch as well. Sad to think we may never see it again. Oh well, there is a wide world of other lovely places to explore. Loved your youthful tenting story!


  2. Coming from the north we pick up the Lost Coast road from Ferndale.