Steep hillsides, covered in dark green red woods roll over the edge of jagged cliffs into an ocean of perfectly blue water. The coastline of northern California is like no other place that I have ever been. It rivals Alaska for beauty. The side of Highway 1 is cluttered with pullouts providing incredible views, and access to small, empty beaches. The beaches are like small alcoves, carved into the cliff face, and dotted with, tidal pools, caves, kelp, and small pebbles, only slightly to large to be considered sand. The occasional seal can be heard barking on the rocks further out to sea. Many places along the road permit open range cattle grazing, a n activity that lead to my first ever experience in the United States of seeing a cow walking along a paved road.
The coastline seems to stretch on forever, draped with the winding snake of highway 1. Finally, the highway passes through Fort Bragg, a beautiful little art town, before it turns slightly inland and joins highway 101 at Leggett, the home of the world famous drive through redwood. 101 then proceeds north for another hundred miles before finally passing through Eureka and arriving at Arcata, possibly one of the most beautiful towns I have seen in my life.