Flowers of the Lost Coast

Over the summer me and the other gardener hired a VW camper from a very nice man in San Francisco and drove north to the Lost Coast of California. 'Lost' because it's the only section of the US Pacific coast that isn't flanked by Highway 1. The terrain is just too rough for a main road to follow the coastline, so Highway 1 bends inland, leaving the Lost Coast sparsely populated and very hard to get to. 

It's a fascinating place - wild, and very isolated. It looks idyllic in the photos, but it was actually blowing a gale, and fog is far more common than sunshine. On top of that, the waves were so big that swimming would have been suicidal. It's a far cry from a day-trip to the British seaside.

We hiked a small part of the Lost Coast Trail - a 24-mile trail that hugs the sea, and is total wilderness throughout. You have to carry a tide table with you, as at high tide parts of the trail are impassable. 

The coast was everything we'd hoped for. Savage, but startlingly beautiful. Huge chunks of driftwood littered the beach - but no litter at all. Sea Lions basked on the black volcanic sands. And despite the fact it was far from peak wildflower season in spring, flowers were everywhere - in the hills, lining the tiny stream beds, and along the shore. I've no idea what most of them are, but a lot looked like wild relatives of late summer perennials.

I've made a pact to go back, but with a tent this time.

Many many more photos below the break.

Wild California Poppy. In California. What are the odds.
Black Volcanic sands, and masses of driftwood.
Driftwood up close.
I've no idea what these are, but they were everywhere, living in the most improbable places.
The streams that came down the hills were flanked by a ribbon of green and gold.

Our trusty Vanagon. Very hard to part from at the end of the trip.
Yes, those are bullet holes. Apparently shooting signs is what you do for fun round here.

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