Last week we had a whole week off in California for exploring and sightseeing and songwriting. We started out in the Redwood National Park. It’s one of those places where, despite yourself, you just keep saying things like “Man! Look at the size of that tree!” and “Dude, that tree is ginormous!” But seriously, Dude, the trees are huge and amazing and 2,000 years old.
After our time in the Redwoods we kept heading south and stopped in a little town called Trinidad for lunch on the beach. At this point in our journey, we didn’t know exactly where we were going or what we wanted to do. Matt suggested that we should check out the ‘Lost Coast’ (a section of mainly undeveloped coastline in Northern California), and it turned out to be the highlight of the trip so far.
The reason it’s called the ‘Lost Coast’ is because the mountains there make it impossible to build a highway through the area. Our little VW made it up this windy little road that eventually leads you to the most beautiful coast I’ve ever seen.
We stopped for dinner here. There’s a little plaque on the left side of this picture that talks about the ‘Cape Mendocino Lighthouse’ which was lit in 1868 and burned for almost 100 years. You could see the light from the lighthouse for 30 miles out to sea. The plaque was “Dedicated to the Keepers of the Light,” which to me was so obviously the title of a song waiting to be written!
Driving along the ‘Lost Coast’ as the sun quickly sets. Total artsy self portrait, y’all!!
So, we’re driving along this little road and we don’t have any idea where we’re going to stay that night. We’re thinking about parking and discreetly sleeping somewhere in Petrolia (population 300), but as we cruise by the few houses, general store, church and school that make up the whole town it quickly becomes clear that there’s no way that’s gonna happen. So, we follow a sign that says ‘Mattole Beach’ that takes you down a rough road that just seems to keep on going. At this point it’s pitch black and out of my window I see a coyote standing on the side of the road and things are starting to feel like the beginning of one of those bad ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ movies. But we just keep on going, cause where else are we gonna go, and when we finally get to the beach, there’s a friggin’ campground there! It came out of nowhere and I was pumped out of my little mind. We park and get out of the van and there are about one billion stars. The next morning I wake up, take my coffee and head down to the shoreline to work on songs. I ended up writing the song inspired from the lighthouse plaque for my Mom, who has always been my ‘Keeper of the Light.’
After two days on the ‘Lost Coast’ we kept going south and got on Highway 1, which runs right along the coast. We ended up finding a great campground on this bluff. This picture captures well the heavy fog that comes in at certain times of the day and then burns away.
On Saturday we made it to Auburn, CA, where we had a house show that night. Our host’s backyard was perfect and even had this make-shift stage!
Our hosts Josh and Colleen had a ridiculous spread of food and drinks and a great group of friends! Thanks to our new Auburn friends for a magical night.
Okay, so this isn’t California, but I’m a little behind on this blog and wanted to include this shot from the ‘Goonies’ beach in Oregon. We watched ‘Goonies’ two days after going to the beach where it was filmed and that movie is still awesome.
And this isn’t California either! I’m actually going all the way back to Seattle here, where we had a great night at the Gypsy Music Cafe, where we opened for the lovely and talented (and all wearing polka dots!) all girls bluegrass band, The Hillbettys.
P.S. Thanks to the Santucci’s for hosting a great house show in Lebanon, OR and to the Walsh’s for hosting us this weekend!!