End-of-October Trip Up North Coast

Took off at 6AM Wednesday, dark, ultra foggy, it was like driving in a tunnel — until I got to Jenner and it cleared. I stopped and trespassed to skate at Sea Ranch; there never seems to be anyone in any of those houses, maybe 90% unoccupied, just me and the propane guy…met my friends, Louie,Titsch, and Pepe for breakfast at Trinks in Gualala, great food, great wi-fi…that afternoon, Louie, Titsch and I hiked a few miles up the river to an old homestead and had home-smoked salmon, salami, Irish cheddar cheese, sourdough baguette, bottle of Louie’s v. excellent 2009 Primitivo red…that night after drying out (had to wade thru river at various spots) and warming up, we barbecued a flank stake in Louie’s new open hearth fireplace in the shop, my olives, a salad …yesterday another great breakfast at Queenie’s (somewhere south of Medocino, prowled around Mendo town (awfully precious these days, then to Ft. Bragg, still a real town…on the way back we went to the very weird Garcia River Casino. just slot machines, no kraps or blackjack, a few morons sitting at machines, smoking, losing money, I just don’t get it. HOWEVER, Louie got $1 worth of nickels and won $45 in the nickel machine and we quit right there and went to the bar in Pt. Arena cove and had beer on tap (mine Black Butte Porter) and fried calimari…now Friday morning and I’m heading south…can’t post pix because I haven’t got my rebuilt Sony DSC RX100 camera coordinated with my MacAir…

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

8 Responses to End-of-October Trip Up North Coast

  1. Lloyd,
    thanks for allowing us see what you find each day. we too have decided that, things are not as valuable as memories. we have decided to see interesting and exciting places insted of talking about it. thanks for the chance to stop work in the studio every now and again and check in on where, what , and who interesting you have found that day.

  2. Inspired in part by your coastal crawls, we took our RV up little used route 36 from Red Bluff to Fortuna and then out to the Lost Coast for a ramble. Signs at our end say 'RV's and Trucks not recommended', I have been wondering about that for ten years. Route 36 is 140 miles without a stop sign or light, very lightly populated, parts of it single lane, our average speed probably 30 mph, a beautiful and very leisurely drive. The coastal road from Ferndale to Petrolia was even wilder with downhill grades in excess of 10%, astonishing views high above the fog. They had a lovely little farmers market going on at a community center in town on Sat, lots of delicious apples and fresh ciders there, a really nice little community vibe. Camped at the BLM campground at the Mattole River mouth, 8$ per night and dogs are allowed on the beaches, which is increasingly rare in CA. It was interesting to see the fog blowing offshore in the late morning from out of the river valley, later I learned that the topography of the King Range causes an offshore wind eddy that keeps the fog out resulting in almost perfect sunny and warm summer weather with a Mediterranean growing season. The old growth forests are incredible including some outstanding Redwood groves. Many of the properties in this area are off the grid and it's hard to imagine a more perfect location for off grid living.

  3. Thats what I am talking about ….NorCal soul. Deep. Rich fir forests dropping down into kelp coves tumbling with life. Cold perfect waves for those who want. Big cold waves for those who want a lot more. Born and raised NorCal Lloyd. I am about to turn 50. Every year I get older I am happy to celebrate each year. For a lot of reasons. One of the big ones is my hero worship of the generation ahead of me and how I wanted to be "one of them"….all grown up with some salt under my skin. I guess I am now. I paddle a step and a half slower than all those "kids" but I soak up twice as much. I get more from one wave now than 15 when I was young and fast and on the top of the pecking order. The sweet feel of leaning into a fully locked rail on the set up bottom turn , arcing up onto the wall, choosing the line, adjust, pump, and lock …..free for those few seconds of eternity. Fuck yes!! The smell of NorCal driftwood burning on an open fire. Salmon in the summer. Dungeness in the winter. Maybe a little extra something nice from that quiet corner of sun in the fall.

    Keep of trucking Lloyd. I can only hope I get to season the years like you have. I wouldnt trade my wood smoke and sand and fir trees and garden for anything. And something yell me you wouldnt either.

  4. What's not to love about Petrolia and the Lost Coast? They have a little slice of heaven on earth there. Little wonder one of my personal heroes, Alexander Cockburn, resided there for a number of years until he recently left us. Queenies Roadhouse is in Elk, another great little spot on the map. The town has a community wood fired oven that they fire up once each week. Thanks for all the inspiration Lloyd!

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