We’re spending our last few days on the Pacific coast before we head inland to Yan’s Roadtrek gathering this weekend, and it’s with a certain nostalgia that we look out over the water, knowing we won’t be back for months and months.
Although we travel all over the continent in our class B RV, we seem to be at our most relaxed and carefree along the Pacific coast in the summer -not that the rest of the year in other locales is that oppressive. This year we’re going to head inland early and see some fall color back east.
Back when I was still working and we lived in Florida, many of our two week vacations involved a coast to coast drive to get out here and look out over the big, big water. There were plenty of beaches back east, of course, and we enjoyed them, but given a chance we always headed west. Half the vacation was driving on the interstate and we burned up many gallons of fuel, but this just seemed to be the place to be to get away from it all.
The west coast may seem mundane to people who have spent their whole lives out here, but to us it’s magical. The cliffs and rocky headlands for which it is famous are nowhere to be found back east. All the plants and animals are new to us. Best of all, it’s relatively uninhabited once you get more than a couple of hours’ drive from the big cities, which is rare back on the Atlantic coast.
Even when we were just driving through in a car, we sought out the stretches where you were the only person on the beach. You lose that close comfortable feeling of well-worn paths, and it’s just you and the shoreline and 6,000 miles of nothing out in front of you. Out here, it’s the people who are small and insignificant, and the landscape that is big. It bothers some people, but we really embrace it.
Our first complete year on the road, we stayed inland until Labor Day, and came out onto the coast in Oregon, drifting south as the weather cooled, and ending up in Big Sur until it was time to drive “home” to Florida for Thanksgiving with the family.
The second year we came right out as soon as the rains stopped in April and went up and down the coast all summer, again leaving in mid-November.
This year, we’ve been out here for a couple of months, and it just seems like the time has been too short. We know that, like everywhere we visit, we’re cherry-picking the best weather of the year, and that once November gets here the weather and camping will be miserable until April, but still…
I don’t really know why we glommed onto this strange existence of living in a Roadtrek and moving twice a day to various spots up and down the coastal highway, setting up and staring out over the blue water day and night.
I think some of it is the old rhythm of the workaday world, where summer is the time when you’re REALLY on vacation. Some of it is the call of this place. And some of it is the idea of being far away from everything you’re familiar with. Whatever it is, we like it.
Goodbye until next year, ocean.