Days 182 to 186: Central Coast & Santa Cruz

Our final leg of the road trip brought us to two Pacific highlights as we headed north up the magical California coast. First, we drove deep into a familiar lush eucalyptus grove on the Central Coast. Just over a year ago, for our very first vacation as a couple, we camped at Montaña de Oro State Park outside Los Osos. We spent two very special nights together on the exact plot of land where we had stayed. We marvelled at the brilliance of the starscape, the transcendence of the thin crescent moon, and the quiet majesty of the rising sun over nearby rolling green hills, all while crashing waves from afar echoed up through the forest. Morro Bay, with its array of seabirds and charming otters, and San Luis Obispo with its old mission history both made for delightful wandering and exploration as we enjoyed the too-perfect weather. We finished the day with tapas and sangria on the terrace as the Mission’s evening church bells resounded and congregants hurried into the intricately painted chapel.

Tracing the west coast through Big Sur, climbing up and zooming down each zig-zag of the cliff-hugging one-lane road, watching gales erupt billows of mist while challenging the crests of breaking waves, breathing in the evergreen towering above—nothing could have been more fitting and restorative as we put in our final hours of driving before reaching the greater Bay Area and putting the final touches on our entire adventure. Driving into the redwood mountains around Santa Cruz was a fitting end to our last big drive. We spent our last few days doing a little bit of everything that made this road trip our own: one day we wandered the main strip and gigantic wharf of Santa Cruz, and the next H made breakfast sandwiches at the beginning of an entire day bingeing The Americans, which concluded with the SC primary results and a homemade taco bar fit for two kings.

It’s hard to believe it’s been six months already, and now, writing this, H, G, and T are all safely back in the Oakland apartment where it all started. Driving up the peninsula, and through San Francisco, we couldn’t process that this defining adventure had come to an end. We’re both grateful for all the love we’ve gotten during our journey, from friends and family both in-person and faraway. Here’s to many more adventures in the years to come.

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  1. It’s hard to believe this is your final road trip post. I’ve so looked forward to reading your posts and seeing bits of this wonderful land through your eyes. Thank you for taking the time to keep us all updated and for sharing. What an experience you have had and what an experience we have had following you across the country and back! I love you both and look forward to hearing about your future life adventures which I know you will make happen.

  2. Hi H & G, I’m so happy that you shared your journey with us. Thank you. 🙂 It brings a wee tear to the eye to read of this last wonderful leg. The photos of you are so happy and I’m so glad to see you looking so content. I’d love to frame one of these! And the wonder of nature all around us is stunning, isn’t it? Gives us such reason to fight to protect this majestic, beautiful world. Glad you’re safe at home, and here’s to all your next adventures. xoxo (Oh, and love the banana slug photo – who wouldn’t love something that is powered by slime? :))

  3. omggggg…thats 6 months already?!? WOOOOWWWW.

    ive enjoyed experiencing this journey with you and are also secretly glad you are back. even tho we dont see eachother very often, there is something very comforting about knowing you are close by…

    was that the nudie beach in Santa Cruz? Ive been there!


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