As the nose of our bus fearlessly peaks around the curve of the mountain, barely kissing its rigid, stone wall with his tail end, we find ourselves on the twisty, nauseating, roller coaster ride of the Pacific coast. Moments ago we departed from our spot on the RV lined sandy beaches of the Ventura shore after beginning our ocean view drive northwest of Los Angeles in Oxnard, a small farming town whose precise grid of crops appears as a patchwork quilt on google satellite. At a turtle’s speed, making our way north on coastal highway 1, each scenic overlook we pull off at offers steady ground and aw inspiring views. Searching for just the right spot we maneuver the bus onto a large gravel semi circle to the right of the highway and begin settling in for the sunset.
Gazing over the side of the rocky cliff, I am mesmerized by the sounds of the waves rolling in from somewhere distant and gracefully crashing onto the large, jagged, boulders rising out of the ocean. Like the eyes of a weary traveler fighting to stay awake, the sun slowly fades below the horizon, it’s amber glow flattening out like a pancake and sliding into the sea. All of the Transit Antenna crew enjoy a peaceful nights rest, lullabied by the ocean breeze at our roadside encampment. Waking with the morning light we find ourselves idling blindly amongst a pillow of fog unable to discern the pavement that carries us along.
A few more curvaceous miles down the road we are drawn to a small spot nestled between the towering redwoods lining the highway; a spot only being found by the dilapidated camper trailer propped up on the side of the road waiting, hoping for someone to give him a good home. Walking along the dirt path leading to The Henry Miller library, a non-memorial to the writer and artist, you are met by an eclectic array of folk art sculptures. The porch of the library appears to be a quiet spot for meditation, strumming the guitar, or enjoying a complimentary cup of joe, while inside there is a generous collection of books by Kerouac, Steinbeck, and other authors relevant to the beat generation.
Once more, we continue on along the coast making our way closer to Santa Cruz. Welcomed into the small beach community by the obnoxious barking of the local colony of seals, we stroll the waterfront stopping to watch the crew of local surfers jumping into the ice cold water for the thrill of riding the wave. As high tide gives way to low tide, and low tide unleashes the forest of sargassum, the surfers stay true to their calling, not going home until the last wave has been ridden. Contemplating our next move, here is where we decide to end our ride along the coastal highway 1 and veer inland on the next stretch of highway leading us to our resting spot in the east bay area of San Francisco.
October 2008 article for the Charleston Magazine.