Archives for posts with tag: Pacific

I took a lot of photos and video footage during my road trip from San Jose to Canada last year. When I got back home to Ireland, I started on the mammoth exercise of putting all the videos together, patching in some of my favourite photos along the way. This proved to be a bigger task than I expected and I ran out of steam after processing the fifth or sixth video. The remaining videos had to wait until this Christmas – almost 18 months afterwards – to complete.

So here they are. They are mainly a personal memoir of an amazing trip up into the Pacific Northwest – a journey of 1,400 miles (2,256 km). In the space of just a week, I saw coyotes, vultures, eagles, massive waterfalls, lofty redwood trees, huge dust devils, elk, whales, and some of the finest scenery imaginable in this world. I came across a road accident where a car had fallen into a steep ravine. I travelled by boat from the United States into Canada and witnessed some of the rawest landscapes in North America.

What were the highlights? Crater Lake, perhaps, or the Multnomah Falls. Or perhaps the old quarantine station around Knappton Cove and the enormous bridge by Astoria, Oregon. Cannon Beach was also a spectacular sight. And the gigantic redwoods of the Avenue of the Giants. I fell in love with the scenery and the freedom of the road. It will stay with me forever.

These videos are sometimes not the greatest and I don’t make for the most entrancing host either, particularly after days of not shaving. It’s mainly a personal photographic memoir for me as I engage on of one of the most incredible driving holidays in my life.

Day 1

In which I drive from San Jose to Nevada and I end up in the shittiest hotel room in Reno.

 

Day 2

In which I drive from Reno, Nevada to Eugene, Oregon – a distance of over 750km. On my way, I passed through the quirky side of roadside America, taking photos as I went. I saw a massive dust devil. I stopped for a while close to the Tulelake Japanese American internment camp. I witnessed the grandeur of Crater Lake. On my way down the mountain, I came across a road accident. This video describes of the most amazing days of my life.

 

Day 3

In which I travelled from Eugene, Oregon to Vancouver Island, Canada. I visited the Multnomah Falls near Portland, and I took the COHO ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria.

 

Day 4

I took a tour around southern Vancouver Island, taking in Fairy Lake, Avatar Grove and and abandoned power station. Lots of photos were taken along the way.

 

Day 5

I took the COHO back to Port Angeles, and travelled down the coast of Washington State. I got to Ruby Beach, Moclips, Aberdeen, Knappton Cove and finally crossing the long bridge into Astoria, Oregon.

 

Day 6

I travelled Route 101 on the Oregon coast from Astoria to Bandon. This is one of the most amazing drives in the world – Cannon Beach, Neakahnie Mountain, Cape Kiwanda, Cape Foulweather and Seal Rock, Cape Perpetua, Florence and North Bend. I saw sea lions and bald eagles, and I took so many photos it kept me busy for weeks afterwards.

 

Day 7

I drove from Bandon, Oregon to Arcata, California. Route 101 took me past Port Orford, Humbug Mountain, Gold Beach and Cape Sebastian. I eventually reached Crescent City, then I headed into the Redwood forests and Paul Bunyan. I visited the coastline around Klamath, accidentally fell into the sea and kept an eye out for elk crossing the road.

 

Day 8

On the final day of my road trip, I travelled from Arcata, California to San Francisco, taking Route 1 almost all the way down. I passed through the Avenue of the Giants and the enormous redwood forests. I hit the ocean at Westport, and followed the road down past Fort Bragg. I saw a whale near Gualala and flocks of pelicans near Jenner. I reached Bodega Bay as the sun was setting. My journey ended over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Every time I come out to California, I feel a need to travel down to the Pacific Coast Highway between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz. It’s wonderful. The yellow cliffs, the long beaches, the sea fog close to the shore and the huge breakers. It’s a magical place. Here are some photos I took yesterday.

PCH9 PCH2 PCH3 PCH4 PCH5 PCH6 PCH7 PCH8 PCH1

 

Pescadero, California

I spent most of the day yesterday in transit between Cork and San Francisco. It was a relatively uneventful flight: reading about the Afghan quagmire in Newsweek, watching a pretty good Leo de Caprio movie (Body of Lies), getting some sleep, listening to a pre-recorded Skeptic’s Guide podcast, reading my book on the Permo-Triassic extinction event, and then listening to some Mozart on my iPod. The jouney was comfortable and although I had a small twinge in my back after the jouney, I didn’t feel the 10 hours pass by.

After dropping our bags off in Cupertino, I and some work colleagues decided to drive down the coast road (Highway 1) between Pescadero and Santa Cruz. The weather was foul: cold and rainy, so we confined ourselves to the car apart from one foray down to a beach near Pescadero.

The coast here is very different to home. Gone is the intimacy of the rocky Irish coastline. There is a great sense of scale: the cliffs and beaches stretch into the far distance, conveying the impression that it’s like this all the way down to Patagonia.. The cliffs are soft and chalky, and there is active erosion here. Not great places to be in a large earthquake, I’ll bet.

Total darkness had set in by the time we reached Santa Cruz. The journey back to the hotel was difficult for me with heavy rain, twisty roads, oncoming night-time traffic and the looming burden of sleep deprivation all taking their toll.

A quick bite to eat and I was in bed by 8.30, utterly, utterly exhausted.

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