Highway 1: Golden Gate to Fort Ross


Whenever I point my car north and head from San Francisco along the coast towards Oregon, I’m a very happy guy. I know that every mile will be beautiful and every stop will be interesting. It’s a fabulous slice of the far western United States, and I hope our video gives you at least a glimpse of the journey’s many pleasures. We shot the body of our three video stories just a few years ago, but we reached a bit further back in time to insert a few additional components from our library. For example,

the Fort Ross portion of the first story was taped when I was a baby, more than fourteen years ago. Though I’ve aged for sure and Bill Walton is no longer there, Fort Ross hasn’t changed much and remains a very special place. My walk with Bruce Bolt along the Earthquake Trail at Point Reyes was also recorded a long time ago. Although the trail today is exactly as we saw it then, I’m very sorry to report that Bruce, a brilliant, highly respected and wonderful man, died in 2005. I had known Bruce in a variety of personal and professional contexts and I miss his kindness and good humor very much. I remember our day together, looking for evidence of the San Andreas Fault, with great fondness. And finally, in the third video segment of our northcoast road trip, we follow a proud woman I admired, respected and adored, Phyllis Cangemi. Phyllis guided us up an accessible trail into the redwoods she’d helped imagine, design and bring to fruition. Phyllis was seriously disabled for decades, plagued by a variety of illnesses that finally caught up to her. She died in the fall of 2005. She’d overcome so much and led such a determined life that I had thought somehow she would always defy the odds. It’s hard to imagine that Phyllis is gone. But she left a great legacy of access to nature for everyone. Fortunately, along her trails, in the efforts of those who continue her work and in the hearts and minds of many people she will always be with us.


The trip north on Highway 1 has changed little since we pieced the video story together about five years ago. Please note, however, that a new animal hospital is being constructed at the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands. Currently, there is limited access at the Center to the public though a temporary visitor facility was opened at nearby Fort Cronkhite in the Headlands in July, 2006. This facility is located in Building 1049, a former World War II mess hall. Stop by to learn more about the Marine Mammal Center and get a glimpse into the history of military life at the fort. It's expected that the hospital will be completed in the spring of 2008. Construction updates and a SEALCAM are always available on the Center's website, www.marinemammalcenter.org. Up the coast, in Stinson Beach, Scott Tye has closed his kayak shop and is now chairperson of a terrific non-profit organization, the Surfrider Foundation of Marin County. Surfrider works to protect our oceans and beaches by supporting clean water, beach access, beach preservation and the protection of special places and can be found at www.surfrider.org/marin.

See the first lovely stretch of a spectacular coastal road trip from the Golden Gate northward to an outpost of the old Russian Empire, with a bright light, shaky land and suberb beach in between.
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