There was a wide space which let the errant ocean flow into the shore between rocks which had delayed its progress for a thousand years or more. The small sandy beach which was its destination continued deep into a sheltered cave of rock, forming a secret hideaway. This was our private picnic spot, unknown to the rest of the world, and to which we rushed with shovels and pails and a picnic basket filled with our dinner.

We cruised Highway 1 along the Pacific Ocean for years looking for the perfect place, with impatient children hungry for dinner jumping around the back seat of the car. There were no seat belts in those days, so kids used the back seat as their playground.

Finally we hit pay dirt when we discovered road marker 28. It stood alongside the highway alone and beckoning us to come explore the beach below. Road marker 29 was somewhere ahead, and somewhere behind we had passed road marker 27, but neither of those showed much promise of a flat, sandy beach where a small family could safely build sand castles and paddle in the water. Reading the tide tables, it gave us a window of time to avoid the rush of the waves through the channel and into the cave, thus washing away all remains of tuna fish sandwiches and potato chips.

Once found, it would be a challenge to find it again, so using my age at the time, which was 28, we used that as our compass rose. Thereafter for the next year, we drove to road marker 28, unloaded our gear and raced to the beach.

Of course all good things must come to an end, and though no one else seemed to have found our private beach, we lost it and it became part of our family memory. Sometime during the year, I turned 29, and road marker 28 never looked quite the same.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

12 thoughts on “ROAD MARKER 28”

  1. Your lovely post brings back fond memories for me. We had dear friends who lived on the Oregon coast. Their children were close in age to ours, and we visited with them nearly every year, taking our time meandering through river valleys and then the excitement of reaching the ocean. And, yes, the kids bounced around in the back seat!


  2. The Oregon coast is so beautiful. I grew up in Southern California where we had wide beaches, but no rocks. I much prefer where we are now. I talked to one of my daughters this morning and she had read the post and remembered how much fun we had at the beach. She lives in Seattle area now. I remember each of us watching for the first glimpse of the water and shouting out—“There it IS!”


  3. What I love about your photo is the fog bank. When I think of my time in the Bay area, of course fog plays a huge role — but no only there. All the way north, when I’d travel the coast, I’d love watching the fog in its season.

    There was so much amazement along that coastline. The differences between there and here, on the Gulf coast, were so stark. The rocks, the kelp, the waves… Even the emptying of the rivers was different. I still have a clutch of white-veined pebbles from the mouth of the Russian River, tucked into a cactus pot. I never made it to the Bohemian Grove, though!


    1. We do get our share of foggy mornings around here. The West coast is so beautiful north of here. As I mentioned above, we had large beaches (crowded with people) but no rocks in So. Cal.) I love to explore the tide pools. Funny you mentionm the ?Russian River—we had a summer house at the Russian River outside of Guernville for many years. The kids grew up there.


      1. I was in laying on a motel bed in Guernville when I experienced my first California earthquake. I thought someone was shaking the bed with their feet, or something. I wouldn’t believe it was an earthquake. When we went to dinner, everyone was talking about it. I was chagrined, to say the least.


  4. I was at a party in Seattle one night when a woman from out of town said she had never been in an earthquake. That might at midnight there was a big shake, so she finally felt one. We live right ON an earthquake fault. Remember when I told you I sometimes saved the heads of broken sculptures if they were any good? I still have Mrs. Lauderback’s original head after an earthquake accident.


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