Highway 101

Cape Blanco State Park scenic view

A year ago I decided to make it a goal to drive the entire length of the Oregon coast and stop at all the viewpoints and State Parks because, though I had been born in Oregon and visited the coast many times, I had never seen most of the beauty that awaits a traveler willing to venture off Highway 101. So on my way home from Sequoia, California I cut over to the San Francisco coast and drove from the California border up on Highway 101.

As of today, I arrived at Bandon where I have relatives that have lived here since I was a child. My family visited them many times in my youth but today I realized we had never seen that section of beach. My parents had driven straight to their house and, since they lived somewhat inland, I only remember the narrow road to their home, the trees and sandy soil.

From there my childhood vacation continued on down the 101 to Los Angeles where I had more relatives. Today, driving in the opposite direction as an adult, I had to smile multiple times as I passed tacky, but popular, landmarks that looked exactly the same as when I was five years old. I wasn’t prepared for this blast from the past – I thought I would be seeing this stretch of coastline for the first time. But there, along the California Coast in Leggett was the giant redwood tree I could drive my car through, the same one I had delighted in riding through as a child.

Paul Bunyan and Babe at Trees of Mystery in Klamath, CA

My adult eyes see a different world around me – wildflowers bursting from the landscape, rocky exquisite coastal terrain, cloud formations and the shadowy depths of the forest – different than through the eyes of that child who remembered Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox, the Prehistoric Gardens, or carved redwood and myrtle wood life-sized statues of wild animals.

And now I see how the past is brought up to the present, actually part of the present. There is no time, for it’s woven in wonderful ways and I can be two places at once – at least in my mind.

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