California’s Lost Coast

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In far North California, if you’re lucky, you might just stumble upon a lost world.

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A jagged, Jurassic coastline, like something plucked out of pre-history, all black sand beaches littered with sea-polished igneous pebbles, mysterious, misty pine forests falling away into the treacherous waters, the pacific is at it’s most wild, raw and powerful here. Little towns and huddled collections of log cabins are all you’ll find along this coast, by the way of people. There are no large cities, no freeways, just signs at the side of the road warning of bears, empty beaches where you mustn’t get too close to the water, and rolling walls of fog that greet the point at which sea becomes land, each dawn and evening. A lighthouse or two line the coast, each standing solemn and casting lonely figures against the endless unpolluted night, the rough-tumbling ocean.

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The Lost Coast was the final destination of our early summer Californian road trip, a week spent travelling north, road-testing our newly converted van, and whilst we were at it, we would be gathering footage for a music video we were crafting for Sophie’s newest song.

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We had begun our journey in the hills of northern LA, leaving behind the pomegranate trees, hummingbirds, and breakfasts taken to the sound of wind-chimes. Our van was not completely finished, by any means, but it was finally ready to be tested, there was a bed, and a kettle… plus, at the end of this trip, Sophie was to be dropped off in San Francisco, from where she would fly to meet up with our friend Darren, to cycle a few hundred miles of the Norwegian Arctic Coast.

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The trip proved a wonderful introduction to northern California. We had visited the desert in the van, Salvation Mountain and Slab City, for a brief birthday trip, but this was something else. We replaced the seeming lifelessness of the silver deserts of southern California, the rolling dunes and sheer almost apocalyptic bizarreness of the Salton Sea, with ancient life, musty redwood forests with giant trees thousands of years old and covered in moss, ferns, and inhabited by millions of mosquitoes, rolling fields of tall grass catching golden evening light. We visited Glass treasure beach, a beach where instead of treading sand, you trod millions of polished glass pebbles, glittering in the sun like rubies, jade, emeralds.

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We ended our trip surprised by the diversity of California, a little more in love with the golden state, and the van had made it a couple thousand miles without any major issues. It proved a productive first trip, and an exciting introduction into what is to be life in the road, in the US.

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Below you’ll find the Black Sand music video, a pretty comprehensive collection of Californian magic.

One Comment

  1. Wow it looks so beautiful there! I’ve wanted to go to California for so many years (I’m from the UK). Next spring I am leaving the UK to travel Europe for a few years and once I’m done with Europe I’m going to head to the states, starting with California! 🙂

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