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California Trails

100 Days Outdoors: West Coast Cruisin’

Highway 101 with a Chance of Light Swimming

I grew up in Minnesota, land of ten thousand lakes, or, as I prefer to call it “land of endless relief from the summer heat”. With Montana, Idaho and the mountains of Washington behind me and the peak of summer heat at my feet, I was happy to finally find myself face to face with the cool, tumultuous waters of the north pacific.

100 days outdoors - water line
With summer at it’s peak and no AC in the van, Oregon’s icy, clear lakes were too hard to pass up.

When you live on the road, in a tent or outside for any period of time with no real access to showers, large bodies of water are your friends. With my compass pointing south along highway 101, the pacific and I would have plenty of time to get to know one another.

Week 8 Video: Water, pavement, and a little bit of wet tent to spice things up.

The drive south from Washington through Oregon and into California is one I’ve had the privilege of doing a number of times, yet one I feel I’ll never get tired of. From Oregon’s blue lakes to California’s beaches, the long highway weaves its way down the “Gold Coast” through some of our countries most scenic places.

100 days outdoors - sunset

But it’s not the drive that keeps me coming back. It’s everything else. It’s the lakes, the beaches, the cliffs, the sunsets and the sunrises. It’s camping under redwoods and bathing in blue water, waking up in the fog and falling asleep under the stars.

I love the west coast. 

Day 54

100 days outdoors - day 54 camping
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After setting this thing up for the fifty-fourth time, I feel like I could do it with my eyes closed…   

Day 55

100 days outdoors Day 55 trees view
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Blown away by the dramatic landscape of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.   

Day 56

100 days outdoors - Day 56 - swimming
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I smell less bad now that I’ve reached the coast.    

Day 57

100 days outdoors - Day 57 - the camp van
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Otis, my trusty steed, covered in evidence of a fun ride along forest roads.    

Day 58

100 days outdoors - Day 58 - feet in ocean

While my shoes are heavenly, nothing beats the feeling of the cool Pacific between the toes.    

Day 59

100 days outdoors - Day 59 - the beach

Early morning nature gazes are an essential part of any productive day.    

Day 60

100 days outdoors - Day 60 - map on stump

Goodbye Olympic National Forrest, you have been an amazingly beautiful friend to me for the past week!