As we strayed from the interstate in northern California, the truck rolled up to yet another obscure gas station. We hopped out for another well-practiced bathroom break. Imagine my excitement to realize that the way-back-out snacks weren’t limited to candy bars or trail mix.
From the glorious display of local wines and liquor, I began to pluck bottles and stash them in a styrofoam cooler. Shopping the gas station wine selection in the heart of Wine Country? The universe and I were totally in sync.
Our early AM breakfast in the hotel had melted into an early Sunday cruise past tons of wineries. Sadly, none of them were open. Knowing we would be leaving California well before the day began for them, I loaded up on six bottles. From a gas station. Without a name.
Giddy, we hit the road again and, in no time, were flying up the historic Highway 101.
You hear stories about the 101, but it’s one of those landmarks that you can’t possibly imagine until you’re there. The experience of the 101 is what really sells it. There’s no one specific place you simply must go. You just have to explore the entire stretch of highway, California to Oregon, and see it all.
We drove a somewhat central segment starting south of the Redwood National Forest through the southwest coast of Oregon. Every curve was filled with stunning views of the Pacific.
We paused at scenic overlooks. Ventured onto a quiet beach. Watched the fog lift as we continued our adventure the next morning. And, even caught some peeks at strangely tame deer along the way. While I’ve said for years that I love Oregon — the coast officially locked the state into my #1. I’m not even a beach girl and you’ll never keep me from those gorgeous rocky shores.