USA // California //

Northern California

The massive and eerily silent volcanic lands of northern California have more in common with Oregon and Washington than with the rest of the state. Its inhabitants live by farming and an ever-decreasing number by logging and fishing, augmented in recent years by New Agers, ex-hippies and a growing contingent of tourists. Once you’re past the atypically lush valleys of the Wine Country, the coast stretches for three hundred miles of rugged bluffs and forests. Aside from the beautiful deserted beaches that stripe the coast, trees are the big attraction, thousands of years old and hundreds of feet high, dominating a landscape swathed in swirling mists. The Redwood National Park teems with campers and hikers in summer, but out of season it can be idyllic. The remote wildernesses of the interior can be enchanting, especially around the Shasta Cascade and Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Public transport is, not surprisingly, scarce, though Greyhound buses run from San Francisco and Sacramento up and down I-5 into Oregon and US-101 as far as Arcata.

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