Cruisin' the California Coast

Despite being bummed to leave San Francisco and say goodbye to our friends, we had one thing on our mind that kept us traveling across the Golden Gate Bridge and onto the 101: the coast. Having all grown up in either the Midwest or on the East coast, the Locavaux Crew was ready to explore new territory and see the sights. We stopped quickly in Mill Valley to have a drink and enjoy some late afternoon snacks with friends Jimmy and Emily Hughes, took in a few Open Mic Night acts at the local (and famed) Sweetwater concert hall down the road, and eventually got on the highway for Napa Valley. Mr. Scribner, who works at two vineyards in the Napa Valley area, kindly offered dinner, beds and even a wine tasting to the bus crew—it was an offer we couldn’t resist. Papa Scribs bought us a delicious dinner of burgers at Gott’s Roadside stand, took us to the company house where he works during the week, and we called it a night. The next morning, the Locavaux Crew took a tour of both Rutherford Hill and Chimney Rock wineries, learning from each of the winemakers at the vineyards all about the winemaking process and upcoming harvest season. After buying a few bottles of wine (when in Rome, right?) and regretfully dropping off Meegan at the bus stop, we packed up the bus and headed for the coast. Meegan, we miss your late-night bus renditions of Whitney Houston, Beyoncé and Tracey Chapman already! We arrived to the Pacific Coast late that afternoon and ogled the incredible shoreline from the awe-inspiring vista that is Route 1. We stopped in Mendocino, home to the most western point in the continental United States and, conveniently, Hallie’s uncle! Our visit to Mendocino was sadly short-lived—Mr. Jetton treated us to dinner, a tour of the quaint town of Mendocino and a peek into their music festival tent before we said our goodbyes and headed out in search of a camping spot. We pulled off of the side of the road a few miles down the highway, engulfed by darkness as soon as the bus lights went off, and hit the hay, unsure of what we were going to be met with when we woke up. What did we wake up to, you ask? Only a vast, cliff doted view of the coast with giant boulders lining the beach. It was, you know, decent. The rest of the week was spent zig-zagging along the coastline on Route 1, enjoying the small beach towns that continuously populated the Pacific coast and gazing in wonder at the beauty of the California and Oregon wilderness. We made our way further north towards the California-Oregon border as the week wore on, exploring the Redwood National Forest and visiting one of the country’s famous Drive-Thru Trees (sadly the bus didn’t fit—but we crew members walked through for kicks). We spent our evenings singing along to Hallie’s guitar, enjoying some homemade bus cooking, tasting some local beers, and sitting in wonder at the Pacific ocean sights immediately in front of us. Everything is just bigger out West—bigger beaches, bigger boulders, bigger cliffs, bigger trees... It’s breathtaking. There’s a saying we’re reminded of as we look back on our time on the coast: “In the east, man is God, but in the west, nature is God.” Judging by that beautiful stretch of coastline we were lucky enough to experience, we couldn’t agree more.