Well hello, beautiful

Who knew that the road at the end of the earth would be this beautiful? It all started when we stuck our toes into the Pacific up in Oregon a few months back. It was so cold I could have sworn someone tried to light my feet on fire the way they burned. I hobbled back to the car. That was the Pacific? A man at a campground cooked us a beautiful crab which we smashed with a wooden mallet and sucked out the small, sweet bits of flesh. Then gorged on the claws. There were tiny shore towns all along the coast of Oregon, gloomy and grey and static against the slick black rocks and jagged bluffs. 

Monterey. Caramel. I've heard of these places but what do I know of them? They're on the California coast, man. Yea, no shit. I realize that now. I realized that as we drove, correction, as we attempted to weave left and right on the 101. It's a timely thing to take a curvy road. You have to break just right before the curve and then gas it smoothly to wind up around the corner, hoping it's not a hairpin. If you do it right it's smooth sailing. If you do it wrong you might just lose your lunch after a few. The 101 cuts through the hillside, literally, like a double decker cake made by a stingy baker. The pines fan out in all directions, trying to catch any glimpse of the sun they can in the mystery fog that forms and disappears without notice. Succulents and bushes meander up the hills in an edible crazy quilt. Past every turn is an honest-to-god bluff with no houses or beached whales (of the tourist variety) or any other defacements of nature. Just raw beauty. And, yes, lots of SUVs all in a row with those laissez-faire California cursive license plates, the DSLRd owners clicking away like they've spotted a reclusive leopard. Wow, California, I would have thought your coast would look like a long length of oil-slicked fading beauties amidst some monstrous McMansions. Maybe if I had thought about how cherished your shores are, I would have realized a drive down your curves would be better than the carnival and muscle parades in Santa Monica. Way to go with your misty miles of untouched beaches, the fresh air scented by pines and eucalyptus, and your miniature enclaves that remind me of The Goonies. Nature in the west is just bigger - the skies, the trees, the rivers, the lakes, the predators. No wonder pioneers venturing out this far thought the land was an endless expanse for the taking. Yet you, California coast, some of you, anyways, has stayed true to your roots. We wanted to drop you a line and tell you how pleasantly surprised we were by your beauty, preserved. We hope to see more of you soon.

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