Not knowing exactly what to expect, and having heard so much about it, we decided to check out the drive along the northern section of California’s Lost Coast in Humboldt County.
We moved to Humboldt County in 1986, and lived there for 4 years, so we were aware of how remote some areas can be. We’ve always been just a bit intimidated to head into the unknown, especially in the forested areas of Humboldt.
Our trip began in the Victorian village of Ferndale where the road led us up, up, up, out of the fog. We would pass through the small communities of Petrolia and Honeydew on our way back towards Highway 101 just north of Weott. A few isolated homes, ranches and herds of cattle dotted the landscape. Eventually we caught a glimpse of the ocean and began to twist our way back down to sea level.
We discovered a beautiful rocky beach where we couldn’t resist stretching our legs. Reg insisted I climb up on one of the larger rocks where I tried to create my best “Little Mermaid” pose.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was coming upon a herd of zebras! “Stop,” I shouted. I had to get a picture. Who’d believe zebras roamed Humboldt County?
Like an oasis, the town of Petrolia (small and pretty darn isolated) lay ahead as we came over a rise. The town market was a bustling place where a woman was busy flipping hamburgers. A UPS driver patiently awaited his lunch.
Stopping for our tailgate picnic, we had second thoughts about missing out on those burgers!
Eventually we arrived back at Highway 101, no worse for the wear. We had envisioned long stretches of a dusty gravel road with steep drop offs and multiple washboards; a bit of a white knuckle ride. What we found was a well kept road, steep but newly paved in spots, scattered ranches and communities surrounded with breathtaking scenery. Certainly nothing to be scared of!