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Day 53: Breathtaking Highway 101

Day 53: Breathtaking Highway 101

This morning, waking up near Brookings, Oregon in Umpqua Lighthouse State Park I was quite excited. Today I’d be heading South along the famous highway 101 into the state of my birth. The drive itself is so scenic it becomes hard to get more than a few miles without taking pictures.

McCullough Bridge, An Oregon State Historic Landmark. Built in 1936. Driving along the 101 on July 1, 2011

First you cross the famous architectural wonders: The bridges of 101. These bridges have been featured on shows on the travel channel and it’s no mystery why. Each one was uniquely designed by a renowned architect to awe and inspire travelers.

After some amazing bridges, and right before I crossed into California, I cam across some of the most breath-taking views of coastal cliffs, caves and arches. The sedimentary rocks of the pacific coast are eroded by waves and wind, both carrying sediments that slowly carve out caves, and later carve them into bridges, and towers. It’s a beautiful sight to watch the waves crash into these rocks.
Well-knowing that my drive would be slowed due to the gorgeous views of the pacific ocean my plans involved my camping at Golden Bluffs State Park….however I was greeted with a “campground full” sign. Unfortunately many of California’s campsites are first-come first-serve, meaning no reservations. Since my Grand Adventure put me in California the weekend of the 4th of July all of the campgrounds were full. It doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the view.

Roosevelt Elk at Golden Bluffs State Park, California July 1, 2011

I’ve now been on the road for over 50 days and I can’t imagine how to decide which view is the most inspirational, but this would definitely be right up in the top. The west coast’s geology is ever changing at such a rapid pace. As compared to the landforms of the east (our passive margin) the west coast is constantly being changed.
A lot of us are scared of change. We see it as a hurdle to overcome or a step backwards in our trek. Truth is the changes are inevitable the most formative parts of our lives. They are the reasons we love, hate, hurt, smile, laugh and inspire. The west coast is a perfect example of how change will mold you into a better, more beautiful person. Perfection isn’t holding a true form. The closest to perfection you will ever be is to accept the challenges that crash into you and make changes to be a better person.

An arch in the Pacific on the South Oregon coast. July 1, 2011

Looking at these scenes along the coasts of Oregon and California you can see two different things: destruction and construction. You could say that the waves are crashing into the rocks and destroying them…or you could say they are creating these landforms that we enjoy. Standing here on the coast, watching those waves crash and catching my breath as I realize I am truly experiencing this, I learn something.
Destruction is a method of creation. You can’t have construction without some sort of destruction. When life starts crashing into you it isn’t trying to destroy you, it is trying to build a more resilient you. Don’t fight the waves….brace yourself and revel in the fact you will be a better person for it.
Experience. Is. Life.  All of it.


Golden Bluff’s Campground. Cali. July 1, 2011

Highway 101 does dive inland a bit into a portion of the Redwood National Forest. July 1, 2011

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