WWDC Road Trip, June/July 2003
Part I: The Road South

The Road South | Yosemite | The Road North

Last year we were rushed on the way south, and had to hit the interstate inland to make up time, so we saw the Oregon coast but didn't get to see much of the California coast. This year we headed out on Thursday morning, giving us an extra day for the drive, and we spent the first day hustling through Oregon on the interstate, hitting the California coast and Crescent City right at dusk, just in time for a few photos of the rapidly darkening coastline and the lighthouse there.

Friday morning we explored the coast around Crescent City, which was pretty cool. There were a number of what appeared to me to be vultures of some type (but I'm no expert) and a couple of dead sea lions. The first dead sea lion looked like polished wood from a distance, and I had to get closer to convince myself of just what it was. There was also an interesting rocky area with some fascinating orange-beaked birds - I have no idea what they were. And there was another lighthouse well out to sea, which we could just see from the shore.

We finally continued south, now keeping to the coast on highway 101 and making many stops for photos. At one stop (where Wilson Creek emptied into the ocean?) there were some small dogs playing on the beach - the youngest of the dogs was quite energetic and amusing to watch. We hit a coastal drive which gave us a nice view overlooking a bay set off by a fascinating sand spit; I was unable to get a photo that really captured how cool it looked. A bit further down the drive was an old military radar station camouflaged as a farm house, and a little further on was a nice viewpoint where we saw some whales. We then hit Big Tree in one of the redwood forests - we saw it last year as well, but came at it from a different route this time; we were in a rush last year but this time discovered that we had taken the long (and less interesting) route. Late in the evening we hit a very cool and mostly desolate beach at Fern Canyon. There were lots of bull elk in some fields near the turnoff and a few of the elk right beside the road on both the way in and the way out of the beach. The sea itself was a fascinating steely grey and the weather very nice so we hung around there for a while before heading out and hitting Arcata for the evening.

Saturday we explored the Samoa Peninsula, hitting a beach and then the port entrance, where I caught a glimpse of some dolphins. After leaving the Arcata/Eureka area, 101 moved inland; we followed it down through Humboldt Redwoods State Park and hit the Avenue of the Giants to drive down amongst the redwoods. We were stymied by a marathon last year when we tried to take the Avenue of the Giants, but this year all was clear. We stopped and ate lunch at one of the impressive redwood groves. We then hit 101 again until it met highway 1, where we headed over to drive down the coastline again. We stopped in Ft. Bragg for the night as it was the closest town north of our next main target - Pt. Reyes - that seemed likely to have a decent selection of hotels, and we took the opportunity to check out Glass Beach, so named because of all the polished glass on the beach thanks to a long-closed offshore dump.

Sunday was all-lighthouses-all-the-time. We hit our first lighthouse at Cabrillo Point just south of Ft. Bragg. There was a half-mile or so walk from parking to the lighthouse, and the trail was marked with a lovely little sign warning of mountain lions. We didn't see any mountain lions, but we did see some deer. We hit Pt. Arena with its lighthouse further on south - we could see the lighthouse as we approached from the north, and wasted some time trying to find a road over to it - the correct road was well marked. Then we finally hit Pt. Reyes - unfortunately, we got there a bit too late and the lighthouse there had closed for the day, so we were forced to take photos from above. We finally headed for the Moscone Center in hopes of early WWDC registration; despite a forced detour, we made it with ten minutes to spare, thanks to finding parking right at the Moscone.

Most of the following week was spent in the Moscone in sessions, but Tom and I walked around one evening late in the week, and I got a few photos near the hotel.

The Road South | Yosemite | The Road North