We had breakfast and packed up to leave. We were on our way shortly after 9:30. The first part of the journey was familiar. We drove through Eureka and down the 101 past the Avenue of the Giants to Leggett where we joined California State Highway 1. This may have been a mistake, but the alternative was much longer and the 1 was a red road on the map. The other entailed a lengthy portion on a black road which we assumed would not be as good. Well, the 1 was well paved, but there the good aspect of it ended. It was narrow, twisty and hilly. It climbed interminably in interlocking hairpin bends and swooped past bottomless ravines with nothing between the edge of the road and who knows what several hundred feet below. It was nerve-wracking driving and even more stressful for my passenger who sat grim-faced and uncharacteristically silent while clutching the door handle and depressing a non-existent brake pedal. It took us over an hour to reach the sea a scant 20 miles from the 101.
We stopped at an overlook and had our lunch while contemplating a mist that came and went, hoping it would not become more dense as we progressed. Fortunately it did not, and while the road improved in width and even had a few straight sections, it was no highway.
We eventually reached the campground we had booked. A journey we had estimated to take 4-5 hours took almost 7. We were happy and relieved to arrive safely. We checked in and got set up. We had a leisurely dinner and coffee then had a walk round the campground. We had recognized a trailer coming in as one that had been at Eureka this morning and wanted to find out what route they had taken. We found them and they had come the same way. They knew what the road was like and had a shorter trailer than ours, but commiserated over the state of the road and said it was one of eh worst roads in the state with a bad reputation.
The campground publicity had advertised a trail to the beach and we assumed (a day full of false assumptions!) That it would be an easy walk and perhaps the sea would be visible from the campground. Wrong again. We found the trail and walked part of it, but the sea never seemed to get any closer, though we could hear it. Indeed, even if we had found it, it appeared the trail would need to descend quite steeply to reach the promised beach.
We returned to the trailer and settled in for the night. Tomorrow's plans are uncertain, but at some point we want to retrace our steps and see some of the views we were too petrified to appreciate today and also head further down the coast both to view it and decide if that is the way we want to go when we leave on Friday.