A year ago in the summer, I took a couple of days off to decompress from a major project. I spent time reading, writing, and resting. It was very foggy in San Francisco so I decided to drive south down Pacific Coast Highway 1 to find “The Fog Line.” That is, the place where the fog stops.
I drove for 47.7 miles.
Summer in the City
As some of you know, summer in The City is all about fog. The heat causes the fog to move right in and settle among our hills and cable cars. Tourists are often shocked at how cold it is here. They think because they’re in California that it’s going to warm and sunny in San Francisco. Nope.
If you want warm and sunny, you need to go to Southern California, people.
This particular day, the fog was so thick I couldn’t even see the ocean as I drove south along the coast. I got a glimpse of the grey waves rolling in and I could hear it but the fog was clinging to the shore, hanging on for dear life.
Gazos Creek Beach
I finally reached the end of the line.
Looking north towards San Francisco, this is what you saw: the fog hovering shyly offshore as if afraid to go further. And looking south? Brilliant clear blue skies. No clouds.
I eagerly got out of my car expecting a chill in the air but what I got was…magical. Mild warm soft clear air. There was a delicacy in the air, a gentleness. I strolled along and took some pictures. At the top of the bluffs at first.
Softness in the air. Soft light.
As I strolled along, I looked out at the water. The fog continued to linger offshore but didn’t retreat. The mild temperatures were beautiful. I removed my jacket and put it in the car. When I returned to the bluff I saw a family walking along. I couldn’t resist taking a picture:
When I got into the car, I realized I was on empty and far from a gas station. I hedged my bets and drove south towards Santa Cruz. And drove. And drove. For almost 25 miles. I didn’t find a gas station until I was in Santa Cruz proper.
I gassed up. The sun was setting and evening was exquisite. Hell, I used to live there but I only remember a few times where the night was so warm and gentle. I did what any self-respecting person did. Yep, I went to the Boardwalk.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
It’s been years since I’ve been to this place. It was well-attended but not crowded. The evening was so warm that I didn’t have to wear a jacket. I thought about going for a ride on The Big Dipper (a marvelously maintained wooden roller coaster), one of my favorite rides but I decided to just get a snack and walk.
I visited the indoor mini-golf course, a place loaded with memories for me. I walked around. Took more pictures. It was well kept up and that made me happy. After going back outside, I decided it was finally time to leave. The night had turned a bit cooler and the drive back to San Francisco was easy and uneventful.