nesting * geeking * critiquing

The 101

We’ve spent a good amount of time on stretches of the Pacific Coast Highway (the 101) over the past few years, a truly scenic byway if ever there was one. It may not be the fastest route and there aren’t a lot of options insofar as national chain shops or restaurants along the way, but the vistas more than make up for it.

Where the highway hugs the coast, you’re treated to panoramic western views of the ocean, beaches and rocky outcroppings…even unbelievable sand dunes. To the east, a smorgasbord of forests, towering bluffs and rolling farmland. Breathtaking!

Saturday morning, Feb. 8, we left Lincoln City to head for Gold Beach. Snowcover gradually disappeared as we journeyed further south until we were eventually left with lush green surroundings…and plenty of rain. In spite of the intermittent downpours, we made numerous stops to do some light hiking and take in the sights.

One of the more curious things we came across was an electronic road sign about 45 minutes north of Gold Beach:Caution

Next 2 Miles
Use Caution
Wild Cows on Road

I’d heard of signs being hacked to warn of zombies and the like, so I initially assumed that might have been the case. “Wild cows” har har har. It was pretty funny until I considered it could be a legitimate advisory.

Night had fallen, and we were in an area devoid of cell phone or radio signals. Nothing but a dark hillside forest on our left, a craggly drop to the ocean on our right and my overly active imagination. Our laughter subsided to a nervous chuckle.

I worried not about running into one of the bovine hitchhikers and making ground beef. No, I worried about becoming the ground beef. I mean, I know a thing or two about “domestic” cows given that my grandpa owned some of the good-tempered variety and I pass dozens of them on my commute each day. But those were all Missouri cows; maybe Oregon “wild cows” are different? If creepy, wild cows roamed these parts, they might have an appetite…for people.

Wild Cows!Admitting this rumination invited merciless japing. Severus regaled me with tales of mangy cows equipped with spiky teeth and underbites. Cows that grazed not alongside the road but on the concrete itself. I imagine they looked something like this mixed with the ‘dog’ from Despicable Me.

We were careful to watch for the road sign on the other end; it warned of “cows loose on roadway,” which sounded considerably less nightmarish. After the longest 2 miles of our lives, we left wild cow country and stayed the night at the Gold Beach Resort.

More photos taken along the 101 at my share site.
Next stop, Crater Lake!


One response

  1. Oh how I miss the 101!! Used to live in Woodland Hills for a while years ago, and I loved hopping on the 101 and just driving.

    3.19.2014 at 1:11 pm

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