Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Famous Highway 1

Highway 1 is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for big rigs according to signs we saw everywhere. But there seem to be parts where big rigs can access the highway for campgrounds along marinas, such as in Bodega Bay. At any rate, off we went to explore highway 1. The drive from Santa Rosa to Bodega Bay and beyond is winding and curvy. There are some neat stops along the way that we'd love to explore on another day. One was a little gift shop called the Rose Thorn, on the left side of the road shortly after leaving Sebastopol. Another one was a little cafe and deli store on the left side of the road. But on to Bodega Bay and beyond!  We stopped at several of these beaches and explored a little bit of the walkways and the overlooks. The scenery is spectacular, as you can see...

Sonoma County has some wonderful beaches and hiking trails that you will see along this stretch of Highway 1. We drove for a bit then stopped and got out and looked around, then drove some more..We drove for about an hour and a half on Highway 1, then turned around and came back. The wildflowers were wonderful! They bloom on the side of the saltwater soaked cliffs in all different colors and blooms, sometimes blanketing the cliffs, other times just a single bloom here and there trying to get a foothold on the rugged cliff side.
The variety of flowers was amazing to me...little tiny ones of all different colors, big ones, tall ones..I've seen these poker type of flowers back in Indiana, but these were much brighter orange. This bird was just singing his heart out as we passed by.
We tried to be careful to stay on the paths as there were all kinds of pretty little flowers underfoot...
There were calla lilies blooming in the darnest places..I saw these in a gully opposite the Pacific Ocean shoreline side, but then I saw lots more of them blooming on the shore side as well...
We saw more harbor seals in their natural environment as opposed to basking in the sun off Pier 39 in San Francisco. These were close to where the Russian River empties out into the ocean and were basking in the sun, too.
We watched as one of them wriggled his way along the beach...kind of moving like a caterpillar would with all his legs. It was funny to watch....he'd scrunch up his middle section, then shove himself out flat on the ground....scrunch up tight, shoot out straight...scrunch up, stretch out...over and over.

The coastline got more rugged the further we drove.....
It was beautiful to see the wildlife, the birds, the flowers, the ocean, the rock formations out in the waters....we'll go another day. We just found out that you can whale watch on an overlook at Bodega Bay. Woo-hoo! One of my favorite things to do and it won't cost anything! Until tomorrow.....


  1. Absolutely a beautiful drive along the coast, we finally did it last year and plan to do it more often is spectacular!

  2. Beautiful flowers, but my favorite is of the ocean with the rocks. Breathtaking!!!

  3. Great photos...don't you just love that area?