Eureka – Finding California

The Road – part 1

Roads Worth Travelling.

Most roads worth traveling on started out as dirt roads.  The very best roads probably started out as nothing more than animal trails snaking through the brush.  Ever hike through a remote and untraveled backcountry, far off the trails where folks just don’t go?  Then you know what I’m getting at here.  Time after time you’ll find yourself following these little rabbit trails to nowhere as long as they’re headed to loosely the same nowhere you’re aiming for.  Now if you have two places that really are worth going to, you’ll have folks repeatedly tramping down all the choice rabbit trails between them until they forge connections and there you have the genesis of the footpath.  Then they’ll get the idea to drag all sort of junk on wheels down this footpath and so it widens and we end up with a great dirt road.

These old dirt roads were arteries that connected one vital, life-giving piece of land to another.  Sure, they got you where you were going, but you never had to leave where you were to get there.  In a very real way they actually connected you to the land you traveled upon.  They’d follow rivers, they’d bend with the contours of the land, they’d wash out in heavy rains, they’d hold your attention, and if you went too fast they’d send your pregnant ladies into early labor.

It’s been paved for a mighty long time now, but the finest road in California for a surfer is Highway 1.  It makes all the sense in the world.  Following the contours of the coast, sometimes nauseatingly so, connecting each coastal town to the next, and thereby providing the finest tour de surf check that the state has to offer, this road undoubtedly had it’s roots as a first class series of rabbit trails.


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