South on 101 and 1-The Dramamine Highway

As we left Portland we traveled south on I-5 toward Eugene where we would exit and travel to the coast. As we exited the highway and made our way to Bandon we were traveling on a two lane road through forests and fields. We picked up the famous Highway 101 and were treated to ocean views and coastal towns until we arrived at the Bandon Beach Motel and the views did not disappoint. The motel is on a point overlooking the beautiful Oregon coast.


The next day we explored the beach in our fleece jackets and toboggans, the air temps were in the sixties and the water temps in the forties as the boys and I found out-ouch, our feet were numb. This was the first time for Scott, Griffin & Beck to put their feet in the Pacific Ocean! The boys found some dunes and rocks to play upon as well as some interesting sea life in the tidal pools. One day far in the future when Beck lives in a beach town somewhere  we will always smile as we remember the light in his eyes when he said, “I feel so free here on the dunes and the beach. If it wasn’t so cold here all the time I would want to live here!”





For lunch we went to “Old Town” and found Tony’s Crab Shack, a small counter order shop with outside seating. This is some of the best food we have had, the smoked salmon sandwich and crab cakes rocked. It was all locally sourced and prepared right there on the dock. The next day we headed to Arcata, CA, a small bohemian town on the northern coast.  As we traveled we encountered Tsunami Hazard Zones, Elk, Redwoods, Paul Bunyan and Babe, a sick whale in the Klamath river and huge rock formations stuck out in the ocean like a child’s play toy left in a bathtub.



We stayed in a very nice apartment overlooking the town plaza, which is surrounded by shops and restaurants. It was a time to do laundry and rest up as we had nothing pressing. The people watching  in the plaza was very interesting, there were “travelers” who hung out all day and most of the night. As Beck said “the sixties came and never left”, but the best show was the naked skateboarder that we caught one afternoon walking to dinner and we caught him coming and going, the moon and the stars-whoa.

On Wednesday we moved further down the coast to Ft.Bragg, CA, a small harbor town, near Mendocino.  We drove on Highway 1, which travels along the coast for some breathtaking views, including a drive-thru tree, Bigfoot crossings and gift shop. At a gas stop we met a group that is biking from the Bay to Brooklyn in honor of the fallen firefighters from 9-11 and the guy who is driving their lead car is living with one kidney as well, his  doctors said it was a birth defect but was not found until he was in his thirties, so you never know.  In Ft. Bragg we went to a local beach called “glass beach” due to the fact that the locals once used it for a dump and sea glass washes up, however, over the years most of the big pieces have been taken although the kids found some small pieces. We stayed at the Shoreline Cottages, a nice little cabin type complex, good for a stopover.

Thursday we headed to the big city of San Francisco, the largest city we will visit.  As part of the title says Highway 1 is called the Dramamine Highway and for good reason, the stretch from Ft. Bragg to San Fran is full of beautiful vistas but also has so many switchbacks, curves and ups and downs that if you are prone to car sickness do not attempt. All of us got a bit queasy. You can see for miles out to sea and down the coast from the sides of the cliffs you are driving inches from.  Angie loved seeing a group of cows on the beach down by the water, catching up on their tans. As we got closer to San Fran we moved from the coast to dairy and wine country.