A major storm moves in over Scott Creek Beach, north of Santa Cruz.
Land Yacht was a designation for several specific Airstream models in the 60’s and 70’s. Yet many people will generically refer to all Airstreams as land yachts, and with good reason. They’re waterproof, (more or less) self-contained and – as we found out the other night where we were staying in Santa Cruz county – awfully exciting to be inside during an intense storm.
Ours may not have come with a “land yacht” designation from the factory, but it certainly earned one as we endured two days of relentless rains. This little trailer rocked back and forth as if it were moored to a dock. During our second night at Costanoa we were practically the only ones in the whole place, and were lulled to sleep by a soundtrack of pounding waves and fierce winds. The latter pushed rain into the few, tiny leaks in our sunroof, bringing nature that much closer to us (although that wasn’t reaction when discovering the drip with a flashlight at 4 a.m.)
But no matter. The rain is gone now, and we’re far, far away in Mendocino – a tiny coastal hamlet perched on the rocky cliffs of northern California. It’s incredibly beautiful here – remote too, at least it felt that way with our slower pace. Getting here was an adventure in and of itself; after a night at a Petaluma campground, we left the 101 in a cute town called Cloverdale, complete with a 1927 hamburger stand. Slowly navigating our way up hairpin curves in the rain, pulling over to let faster cars pass, gasping at the gorgeous wineries and finally carving our way beneath a canopy of giant redwoods as the sun broke through and the rain was replaced by a dreamy veil of fog.
The smell of pine and eucalyptus was overwhelming, caused in part by countless branches snapped off during the storm the previous couple of days. Now they released their scents as we drove past, creating an intoxicating natural perfume.
Finally reaching the coast We met up with our friends who drove down from Portland, and we’re looking forward to spending the next couple days here enjoying the hikes, galleries, restaurants and slower pace lifestyle that little villages like this typically offer.
We finally arrived mid-afternoon, grabbing a beautiful spot on the beach across from our campground to await our friends. Melissa put out some appetizers and afternoon cocktails, and when Laura and Sasha showed up we kicked back for the next couple hours and just talked, with the Pacific just outside our door.
Arriving at the beach north of Mendocino, ready for an afternoon snack.