Tee Artist Hikes (& draws) California's 80 mile "Lost Coast"

Tee Artist Hikes (& draws) California's 80 mile
The Language of Art, inspired by a trip to the "Lost Coast" in California. Words + Art by Bryn Merrell, regular Fayettechill tee artist (think Tandem, Elemental, Mirage).


If you’re reading this, chances are that you already see the beauty in outdoors. You likely already know that deeper you get in to the backcountry, the more magnificent it all seems.

I've never been great at translating the beauty of a recent trip into physical words. The question “How was your trip?” is so simple yet so daunting to me. Good, or great is always my response.

A few years back I started a journal. It had little to no verbiage. Just filled to the brim with sketches and drawings of what I was thinking, or things I had seen. 

This has been the best form of communication for me: art. 

My most recent trip was to California’s most undeveloped stretch of shoreline, the Lost Coast. This is an 80-mile stretch of the coast that the builders of the iconic Highway 1 decided to go around because it was too steep and costly to continue the highway through this portion of California. A few communities such as Petrolia, Shelter Cove, and Whitethorn still remain isolated from the rest of the state. 

Most of the shoreline is only accessible by foot, and a large portion of the trail is swallowed up by the ocean during high tide (8a - noon). Inspired, we gathered our gear, our dog, a tidal chart, and started our 7 hour drive toward the coast

I immediately fell in love with the rugged coastal terrain. The sand captured so many incredible sea creatures, and the rocks were home to some of the most magical succulents I've ever seen.

The early mornings were filled with oceanic fog and miles of 'impassable terrain' during high tide. So we'd wake up at 5 am, pack up camp, and hit the trail in order to beat the tide. Around 8 am, we'd stop for some much needed coffee and breakfast. We had to stay put til around noon, when the tide finally receded and returned the trail to us.  It was this timing, combined with the sandy trail that make this trek so memorable. Knowing that no one else could drive to the exactly location you are on the coast is so satisfying. Especially in California. 

So, how was the trip? It was… great. 

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