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coast | by Leah Reich
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Somewhere along Highway 1, before Point Reyes Station.


For those who have never driven Highway 1, it goes something like this: curvy curvy curvy OH MY GOD LOOK AT THAT VIEW IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL curvy curvy straight for a second OH MY GOD THAT'S THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I'VE EVER SEEN curvy windy curvy HOLY CRAP IT'S MORE STUNNING THAN THE LAST THING FIVE MINUTES AGO windy road windy road OK, SERIOUSLY, MORE AWE INSPIRING VISTAS MY BRAIN IS EXPLODING


You realize at that point that if you stop every single time to take photos, you will never get to where you need to be. But the problem, of course, is that you never know which will be the most amazing sight, the most beautiful moment, the most perfect light. There are so many moments stuck in my head - times I am wishing desperately we had stopped - views I will never forget.


Like the setting sunlight filtering so perfectly through a grove of trees, just next to a seaside bluff? I'm still wishing I had swerved off the road and stood in traffic for that.


Or the layer of fog, with the sun setting behind it, so that the light created an outline around the dense white and gray fog? We could see the gold line above it and the full circle of the red-orange sun on the water just below it. I've never seen anything quite like it.


Or moment we came around a bend and there in the fresh moonlight was a huge craggy rock swathed in thin mist, glowing in the barest twilight, blue and black and pearl white against the endless ocean.


All of it, like this sweet little curve of rocky shore in the photo above, was on the first day.

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Taken on December 30, 2008