You are building the Pacific Coast Highway. You go north of Ft. Bragg, north of Westport, and suddenly, you encounter enormous steep rugged mountains that that suddenly thrust upward, 2000 ft. in 2 miles. If this isn't challenging enough, you find that it's an active earthquake zone, home to a geologic triple junction where the San Andreas Fault meets the Mendocino Fault and the Cascadia subduction zone, separating three tectonic plates. What would you do?
Yeah, that's right, you'd go around.
Pacific Coast Highway abruptly dives eastward and inland, following Cottaneva Creek through redwood-forested mountainous terrain before meeting Highway 101 near Leggett.
The Lost Coast is the most isolated stretch of coast on the West Coast, and one of most isolated areas in California as well. There are no highways, only a few twisting roads that would make Ice Road Truckers nervous, and a lot of bumpy twisting dirt roads which are often impassable during rain or winter season.
Consequently, many of the deer are not nearly so afraid of humans. This baby deer walked within fifteen feet of us, happily chomping away on plants.
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Beachcombing on the Lost Coast
Solitude and solace are easy to come by along Eureka's Lost Coast. It was here I had the pleasure of spending a 30th birthday, driving from Trinidad to Ferndale, then up through the circuitous, treacherous pass that is Mattole Road. About twenty minutes from Ferndale, the road gives way to cliff and coastline, not a soul around.