It was this moment of my trip when I fell into a pot of honey. When planning for this trip, I did some research into the lost coast and the few communities that were left in the area. Because of the enormous King Range, there weren’t any highways built through it and it remains one of the most inaccessible part of California. The destination I had circled was Shelter Cove. Nestled right in the middle of the King Range the small town of Shelter Cove resides right on the cliff side a couple hundred feet up from the thundering waves. Luckily for me, I knew someone with a house there. A family friend was in the middle of building a mansion essentially right on the cliffs in Shelter Cove and he was nice enough to let me stay there. I couldn’t pass up such a unique opportunity despite the mountain road I knew I would have to take to get there.
I left Patrick’s Point early in the morning armed with an address that didn’t come up on Google maps and a cell phone number for Darrell, the family friend. I knew a general direction to go and I figured as long as I found the correct road, that would be the only one for miles anyway limiting my chance for error. Eventually I found the correct route and my GPS said I was 25 miles out. I can’t remember exactly where my gas was at but I remember thinking 25 miles was nothing and I would make it easily. Once I got on that mountain road though, I couldn’t go over 10 miles an hour at some points and at others I mobbed down hills until eventually having to slam on the breaks to make a turn. It was a stressful and hectic drive as my gas tank dropped lower and lower and my GPS completely shut off but eventually, a small general store came into sight. I was told this was the only store in the town and thank God for it as I was able to get gas, firewood and ice all in one trip. Finding the house was tricky on it’s own as the house was still under construction. It’s address didn’t appear anywhere and when I rolled up to what I assumed was the house, I didn’t see a number painted anywhere yet. Luckily though, my arrival was expected by the crew working on the house and they were more than helpful getting me settled into the house.
The house itself is epic. Even in it’s unfinished state, it commanded respect like a sentry or a lighthouse looking out over the ocean in front of it. Huge wooden beams painted white with black trim and decks on all three floors. It sits on enough land where there is a fairly large area of space between the house and the cliffside. Once inside the house, heavy, thick windows cover the walls offering multiple views to the ocean outside allowing the natural light to flood in and illuminate the inside of the house. On the top floor the windows are almost cathedral like and the view from up there is one of the most stunning.
Aside from the house, the are around it offered it’s own allures. A little down the ways, you could follow a trail all the way down to a black sand beach was thrilled me to no end. After that, I climbed back up and found another treacherous trail leading out onto the edge of cliffside and towards some rocks near the ocean.
My room was on the bottom level and it was already furnished with a bed and there was even a working bathroom down there in anther room. I cannot reiterate how much of a privilege and honor it was for me to stay in this beautiful place. I spent the rest of the day relaxing on the deck listening to music and writing in my journal. I watched the entire sunset from there as well and it might have been the best one of the whole trip. Unfortunately the uniqueness of said sunset was because the sky was killed with smoke from fires around the area.
Once that sun was down, night truly took hold. It wasn’t until that moment, when I was plunged into complete darkness, that I realized the importance of my flashlight. From then on, I had to rely on my own handlight to get to the bathroom and move around the house. It was unbelievable how dark it got but I realized there were no lights anywhere in the vicinity including on the house I was at. I went outside and looked up at a sea of stars that were brighter and more vibrant than I had ever seen them. I was lucky to have stayed in a place like that in a place so remote and secluded yet still very California. I slept well in my bed that night with the sounds of the waves crashing against the cliffs humming in my ear lulling me to sleep.
The mansion I am staying at is tucked deep inside the sleepy little town of Shelter Cove located inside the lost coast. It took about an hour and a half drive through the mountains to even get here with no cell service or any modern comforts at all really. I cannot adequately describe the beauty I am seeing out here, holy shit. I am currently sitting on the deck of the top floor of the mansion writing this entry and staring out at the sunset in front of me. The house is exceptionally built with strong wood and good building materials and blends into the beauty of surrounding area perfectly. I was in awe when I arrived and saw the scope of it. It is unfinished as it is but the frame is up around it and there is a bedroom setup for me and a toilet. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to see what the sunrise looks like in the morning. – October 10, 2017, 6:03pm, Shelter Cove, Lost Coast