Santa Cruz Co.
It's nice to be on home turf finally. It's an amazing feeling to walk 550 miles down the coast and pass your own mailbox, wave to neighbors, stop in for lemonade (thanks Anne and Mat!), pass by the office (find no work to do) and lead the team members to our local bakery.
Our "home coast" put on a good show in all its beauty and diversity: Waddell Creek, Greyhound Rock, organic strawberries from Swanton Berry Farm, Fern Grotto, freight trains, Wilder Ranch, Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz boardwalk...
For all of the highlights, coming south on highway 1 through San Mateo Co.
I began to develop a love/hate relationship with the road. It is the way we get around. It's the way we get to our favorite places. But it's clear that it's a massive barrier between the ocean/coast and the hills/forests.
It's the place where the lesser roads begin and it's the artery for coastal development.
At a walk one gets the faint whiff of road kill some way off, it builds then peaks and sticks with you on down the road. An abundant diversity of animals are smashed on this highway as they come from or head to the coast.
Up north where the highway is far from the coast the tracks on the beaches are impressive: bear, elk, deer, fox, coyote, raccoon, skunk, mouse...these animals and others use the beaches, and fortunately don't need to cross a highway to do it.
The wilderness coasts of Point Reyes and the Lost Coast are different for the lack of a bisecting highway.
I guess my point is this: let's make sure the few remaining wild roadless coasts stay that way because they are very special. And when traveling scenic Highway 1, keep in mind that it's not just humans that use it to reach the beach.
PS Saw 'Whale Rider' in SC this pm and sobbed (audibly) 4 times (see it, awesome flick).