July 18, 2012

Days 4-6: Shelter Cove and The Lost Coast



We left Mendocino thinking it would be a short drive to Shelter Cove, the primitive hamlet on the Lost Coast. It's 100 miles between the two points, up the Pacific Coast Highway and around the Lost Coast before cutting in on Briceland Thorn Road. Two to three hours, the gas station attendant told me.

It took us seven hours, landing us at our cabin just in time for the setting sun. I think this reality just about sums up how wonderfully interesting Northern California is.

Glass Beach ended up stealing way more time than we imagined, with the endless coves and rocks and enough glass treasures to keep Stella going forever.





And then, out of sheer luck because Stella had to suddenly Pee, halfway between Mendo and Shelter Cove, we ran into this swimming hole. We turned the car around, changed into our suits and spent the afternoon swimming and cliff jumping in the warm waters of the Eel River.


The drive down into Shelter Cove required 1st gear and motion sickness tablets. It's twenty-five miles from no where, tightly pushed up against the Pacific without another paved road in. The google map alone made my adventurous heart melt.

Our cabin overlooked the Ocean and the deck is where we spent most of the evening. When Stella walked into the cabin, she loudly exclaimed, "it's amaaaazzzing!" Enough said.


We lunched the following day at the yummy Cape Mendocino Tea House, where our chef danced between the kitchen and a game of bridge with friends. Good thing we got a taste of the Peach Pie and Chai tea. Lyle and Marylin are retiring August 28th.


The rest of the day was spent exploring Shelter Cove and Black Sands Beach, the trail head for the Lost Coast Trail and home to more black rocks and pebbles than you can imagine.






13 comments:

Beck said...

What an incredible trip. I'm loving hitching a ride via the internet!

Caroline said...

ditto to the above comment. Love the pictures - makes me eager to check out that part of the country.

Brooke said...

Can you guys adopt me before your next family vacation?

Angela said...

Making notes for our next family vacation. Looks like a lot of fun!

Gwen Jackson said...

Oh my word, this trip is amazing! I want to go! Love the pictures of Stella. You all look so refreshed and full of life. I was glad to see little Leo on Kari's lap in that one deck picture, otherwise I was thinking, Where's Leo!?

Hope's Mama said...

So awesome, guys. Looking at these pics seems like the next best thing to actually being there. Keep 'em coming!

burymylovely said...

You are really bringing back so many memories! I can't wait to see more pictures of my home for a year. We loved visiting the Eel River, too. We would drive the Highway of the Giants to get there, have a picnic on the river, and submerge our feet in the water. Glad to hear you stocked up on those motion sickness pills: they sure do come in handy on the LC roads. And yes, don't let the mileage deceive you. Even thought the Mattole Road seems short in mileage, it takes about 3 hours to drive due to the twisty roads. So happy to see you all having an amazing time!

mel barlow said...

great shots josh!! !!

Groves said...

Ten-year-old son proclaims this blog (pictures, especially), "Very Cool."

Way to reach the next generation. :)

We are enjoying the vacation-by-way-of-Jackson. Refreshing...I can almost feel the spray on cheeks and salt on fingertips.

Safe, well, strong, and free - enjoy.

xo CiM

P.S. Stella, I love you - now what could be your life's path? Never, never dull. No, I expect not. What will unfold?

Veronica said...

Glass beach looks amazing. I'm with Stella on that one .. I'd never be able to leave.
Amazing pics ... Great outdoors never looks so good!

Catherine W said...

Beautiful photographs - I love the glass beach and that swimming hole is simply amazing. Wish I lived a little closer to Eel River.

Skytimes said...

After just coming home from a trip, seeing your pics makes my heart sing. Good to see another nomad family making the transit to travel as a family (even if one will always be missing). Bali was free of sea glass - too much plastic by now - so I'd have stayed there forever as well. One can never have enough sea glass...

Love the pics. Happy trails for now & ever...

Tash said...

Josh, your photos are incredible!!
What a beautiful part of the world, so glad I get to see it through your lens my friend.

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