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THE LOST COAST
A GUIDE FOR WRITERS

by
BRENT SPENCER



THE KING RANGE region of northern California is known as "The Lost Coast." Once home to the Sinkyone tribe, who thought of it as a place of healing, the area is fog-shrouded much of the time, with waves crashing against the sheer face of huge offshore rock formations. But then, when the sun comes out, the Pacific is so clear and blue you'd think you could see all the way to Hawaii.
The coast is "lost" because it's very hard for people to get to, making it ideal for mountain lions, bears, elk, deer, quail, osprey, bald eagles, raccoons, foxes, sea lions, harbor seals, and gray whales. Its isolation, its black sand beaches, and its old growth redwoods make it a place of stark beauty. But there's another reason people have left this area alone. With the San Andreas Fault just offshore, the land is very unstable. Over the millennia, earthquakes have raised sudden mountains, making the terrain so rugged even dauntless Highway 1 veers inland.
The best road in is none too good. Nine miles before you hit the coast, it turns into a dirt logging trail that, during the winter rains, becomes little more than a muddy bog. The trail stops completely three miles short of the beach. You have to go the rest of the way on foot.
But what has this to do with the writing of poetry and fiction?


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