#Route101: Shelter Cove / Eureka

I’ve already posted about this place, but the journey here and back was so poignant, there’s still more to say.

We decided to come here by looking at the coastline on a map and choosing somewhere that could break up the drive down to San Franscisco. Christine thought it sounded like the sort of place pirates would go, and that was good enough for me. Little did we know how right her intuition was.

The road was labyrinthine and steep; the rain was unrelenting; we lost our phone signal, and as the other cars thinned out the further we drove towards the Lost Coast, I wondered if we’d made a very foolish mistake. I could hear the headlines writing themselves: Idiots in Hybrid with Washington Plates in Total Wipeout. But it wasn’t like the road was wide enough to turn around, either.

By the time we reached our destination, things seemed to only get worse, as the heavens managed to open even wider and all watery hell came down upon us, forcing us to take shelter, as it were, in a shack that advertised wi-fi that didn’t work. Deep down, I wondered if we would ever make it to Frisco.

But then, something happened that I’ve only ever experienced once before, in Lebanon, years ago, after a harrowing drive down to the very bottom of the holy valley of Qadisha: lunch was served and I felt better.

And then, just as quickly as it had been drowned, the sun broke through, and we were gifted with these incredible views. And in a moment of great optimism, I decided I’d save the rest of this roll of #Cinestill400D for SF.

The drive back felt cathartic as we chatted nonstop about how that whole experience felt and what it brought up inside us and how it reminded us of things we wanted to keep working on in ourselves, etc., etc., before we turned the corner and were greeted by the largest and most vivid rainbow I have ever seen. I didn’t take a photo because I was too busy freaking out in a doxology of praise.


 This was our last stop in California before heading back north in the final days of 2022. At this point, it was pretty much raining 24/7. “The storm” became shibboleth to bond over with strangers, like that one friendly server at In-N-Out Burger who was surprised to hear about our #Route101 adventure in this weather. He gave me a bumper sticker as a thank you for stopping by and as some kind of merit badge, I suppose. I don’t think anyone realized that this would not be “the storm” of the season…


Eureka itself, and especially its Old Town, I found to be super cute, and the city seemed to lean hard on the quirkiness of its brand; I can’t think of any official font I enjoyed more than Eureka’s.

Here’s a fun fact: this city is the California Registered Historical Landmark No. 477, and the plaque that commemorates that was “placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, Eureka Chapter No. 101.” Look them up! The only thing more fun than an old-timesy fraternal society is a farcical old-timesy fraternal society.


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