Beyond the Build

The Weekend

North Coasting

Sometimes, you need a break.

My son is finishing up his 9th year of medical training, and he’s tired. Honestly, I was, too. When we could both schedule a little downtime, we embarked on a 12-day father/son trip starting at the Lost Coast, Northern California’s coastal wilderness. I suspect when Hwy 101 was first planed in the 20s, a more coastal route in this area was deemed impractical to build with the equipment of the day. Today, it’s our good fortune. The land here is primitive. Secluded. Untouched. Beautiful.

Our first stop was Arcata Bay, home to the North Coast oyster industry. We had the good fortune of meeting Capt. Sebastian of Humboldt Bay Oyster Tours, who spent the afternoon with us talking about the bay, its history, and his work, along with his efforts to preserve for the future. In the end, we harvested our own oysters from his bay farm, and took them back to town to enjoy with a local Eureka craft beer.

From the bay, we made our way to Redwood National Park for a day hike among the giants of the forest. The following day, we hiked the Lost Coast Trail in the King Range National Conservation Area. Along the way we have also tried to stay in and visit different historic places such as the Benbow Inn, and Mendocino, a quaint town on the coast. We spent a couple of days exploring Anderson Valley, home to many a good Pinot Noir winery. The bonus there was in getting to stay in the Boonville Hotel, checking out chef-owned restaurants and local wine each evening.

We are now in our 7th day, in Sonoma, enjoying the “balmy weather” and just thinking about the coast and its 65° temp. We are on the trail again, bypassing SFO, and heading farther south.

If you’re interested in the details of a wonderful trip for you or the family, let me know. There are many ways to explore, and on different budgets.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.