A dog person, more than a cat person, Anneliese Ågren roams the California coast from north to south in search of adventure, history, and good food.
The Coast Road is an odology, a study, of California State Route 1, also known as Pacific Coast Highway.
I started this odology of California’s coast history 13 years ago. This blog is a sandbox in which to play on coast road themes.

41 thoughts on “About

  1. Thank you David. Sorry for my tardy acknowledgement. It is fun to read the old accounts of what California used to look like. 🙂

  2. Thank you Anneliese.

    Your Coast Road blog is most pleasantly special.
    It has a friendly air about it.

    Here’s a book you might enjoy and are almost sure to have

    “Two Years Before the Mast” by Boston lawyer Richard Henry Dana
    about his travels along California’s coast in (if my memory works ) 1834-1836 and his return visit in 1859-60 (?)

    Dana’s descriptions of the Coast are breathtaking — How
    Los Angeles only had a few dozen buildings, and Santa Barbara
    was bigger. How the southern coast is almost barren of trees until
    he got to Monterey’s Peninsula and a flood that filled the Central Valley.

    Highly recommended.

    Best wishes
    PS I’ve typed in my website on Costal activities (including serious politics)
    in the Carmel-Big Sur area for your reading pleasure.

  3. MB: Thank you for visiting! I reviewed the “Orange Sunshine” book here in this blog: https://coastroad.me/2010/07/12/1620/ My dad attended Anaheim High School and told me John Griggs was a meanie back then. Very bad fellow.

    J.Smeaton Chase might be responsible for inspiring my Coast Road research. I first read his book via Ventana Wilderness Alliance’s website: http://www.ventanawild.org/news/fall05/chase/ but I finally bought the book too.

    Thank you for thinking of me. Any time you think of a book that I should read, please don’t hesitate to mention. I have an extensive California coast library, but I’m sure there are books I’ve yet to come across and I love it when someone makes mention of a title.

  4. Anni
    I have a book for you: J.Smeaton Chase California Coast Trails
    riding along the Pacific Coast in 1910. I can mail it.
    Also Jennifer has a book re laguna in 60’s the drug scene with familiar locations. The canyon and Mystic Arts.

  5. Ah dear it’s been so long. Shannon in Louisiana (gypsysoul from LJ times)…I still have your Coast Highway 1 post cards pinned up on the wall in my office. I have people ask me if I’ve been and how lovely it is.

    Love the site and enjoy the reading.

  6. Erik! How very nice it is to meet you! I loved “Gaviota.” Thank you for such a treasure of a read. I “met” you through Bill Denneen’s email list. You wrote a poem that Bill published on his list, and I was delighted to find that you’d written a book. Wonderful read. Thank you again.

  7. Anneliese, Your blog is now on my Bookmark list. I’m a fellow devotee of California highway 1, having roamed it countless times. I love your observations, and I’m not just saying that because of your kind comments about my novel, Gaviota. Keep up the good work and I may meet you someday along the road. (I speak some Swedish, BTW.)

  8. Jerry! Hey, glad you found your way to the Coast Road! I’ve located the book and will read with enthusiasm. Thank you for the tip and it was so nice to meet you at Izzy’s. 🙂

  9. near Santa Inez, April 7, 1861 “This road we are following – sometimes it is a mere obscure trail across the grassy plain, scarcely visible yet for want of travel, at others well engineered, built over and along high hills and deep canyons at great expense and labor. Fine bridges of wood span the streams and gulches, the first bridges we have seen in the southern country. Our mules are shy of these, to them, strange structures.”

  10. I’ve been reading “Up and Down California in 1860-1864” which is the journal of William H. Brewer, hired by Whitney for the first geological survey of California. Book 1, Chapter VI, is about the new Coast Road between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. I think you will find the description of the beginning of this road pretty entertaining and informative, if you haven’t already stumbled on to the book.

  11. Great blog, Anneliese! It’s very informative, and one gets a strong sense of the landscape of this pretty cool part of our country.

  12. To all friends of the north coast of Santa Cruz (La Nostra Costa) and the continuing story of an Italian Immigrant family.

    TURBULENT QUEST ( my screenplay), is fiction; however, it is inspired by true events as recorded in my book: “La Nostra Costa” (Our Coast). The time period is 1923 to 1949 and the main setting is the coast north of Santa Cruz, near the little town of Davenport, California. There, as the logline of our screenplay implies the two main characters BRONCO and VALENTINA struggle to seek a better life in America for themselves and their two sons. The screenplay also takes us to a Nazi-occupied Northern Italy where Bronco and Valentina’s families face dire circumstances during World War II.



    As always, if the above link fails “clicca” here: http://www.nostra-costa.blogspot.com

    Sempre Avanti – Ivano

  13. Grazi Ivano “della Costa!” Red, White, Blue Beach closed a handful of years ago. I visited one time, paid the $10 admission, parked began walking toward the beach and found a naked grandpa walking towards me. I turned around, got in my car and drove away. ha! I’m not much of a public naked enthusiast!

    I don’t know if the place sold eventually or if the owner simply shut down the public access.

  14. Anneliese: I received a similar message from Sue (above) on my LNostra-Costa ‘ blagga’. The Scaroni Property she is refering to is now known as the Red,White and Blue Beach (located just off the Coast Road about 5 miles north of Santa Cruz). Until recently it was famous for being a Nudie Beach. Last I heard the property was up for Sale. For more information on the Scaroni Property, please “clicca” on the link below. Sempre Avanti. ivn0


  15. Speaking of ‘north of Santa Cruz” : While I grew up in San Jose, my family made weekly Sunday treks to the Scaroni ranch for beach play and fishing. It all started back in the 20’s with my mother’s Uncle Steve Small taking his extended family. My dad joined in while courting Mom in the 40’s, and the weekly visits continued till I was a teenager in the 60’s, till a few years before Katie sold the ranch and moved into town, where her sister lived.

    What a joy to hunt the beach for treasures, feed Katie’s chickens and watch Bill milk the cows in the dirt-floored barn. Arnold made cheese and gave us snippets. Johnnie ‘growled’ a lot but had a great heart–his dogs were all spoiled. We got to pick pumpkins for ourselves from the field near the bridge next to the house, and listen for the bell cow as she led the herd home from pasture at the end of the day.

    The house still stands, but Katie left the ranch in the 60’s after the last of her brothers passed away. It quickly turned into the nudie beach and well, not the same since.

    What memories, though. I have salt in my veins from those Sundays at Scaroni’s. Found your blog at Big Sur Kate’s. Terrific.

  16. Anneliese: Sorry to hog your comment section, but I wanted your Coast Road ‘Blaggatori’ to know about my Great Nephew Andrew Roubal.
    We can trace his family linage to the North Coast of Santa Cruz where his Great Grand-Parents Bronco and Valentina made their living on a Brussel Sprout Ranch just off the Coast Road.
    They also raised me (Ivano) and my brother Giovanni Primo (John), who happens to be Andrew’s Grandfather. Anyway its been a long trek but I think we can say that Andrew has made it all the way from the Coast Road to New York and a major musical production. Sempre Avanti. ivno

    http://www.nostra-costa.blogspot. com

  17. Gail: Just noticed your comment. I’m heavily considering going on one of Sandy’s trips, if not both! Sandy’s efforts to teach the coast’s history is impressive. I’d love to meet him.

    Thank you for commenting and letting me know of these upcoming opportunities.

  18. Buon Pomeriggio il mio amico! I am so glad that we are friends.

    Yes, agreed. In fact, I’ve been putting together a post on this very subject: driving safely on our Coast Road. People drive like idiots up here, passing on a double-solid line, passing at curves, driving much too fast. There have been many (avoidable) accidents on Highway 1 in which many wonderful people have ended their lives.

    I will continue to work on this post and launch when it’s ready. Currently there is too much sarcasm in the tone of the piece, which would offend readers rather than allow them to reflect.

  19. Buon Giorno Anneliese. Although the scenery along the Coast Road (for the most part) is incredibly beautiful, we must not forget that the road itself can be terribly dangerous. as shown in an article I posted on the LNostra-Costa Blog.


    If the above link fails, please go to: http://www.nostra-costa.blogspot.com and type in Collision Course in the search space provide at top left hand corner ot the ‘blagga” ivn0

  20. Found your site doing some research for a upcoming history class from the Cabrillo College
    Extension Program. Prof. Sandy Lydon will be taking us to the Big Sur coast and will be discussing tales of the explorers, historians, poets and novelists who wrote about that part of the coast. Maybe you should go. check out his website. sandylydon.com

  21. Thanks Anneliese. Love this Blog. BTW: Some Italians living “su per la costa” would describe the Coast Road of old (the portion they were familier with) like this: “Ita goa froma Santa Croce to Davenporto, to Pescadero, San Gregorio, Haffa Moom Bay, e — San Franceezco”. Sempre Avanti ivno

  22. Hi Ivano! Thank you for stopping in and introducing yourself. I’m very happy to meet you after enjoying your wonderful memoir on life along the Santa Cruz County north coast.

  23. I live north of you Romney, north of Santa Cruz, south of Half Moon Bay. 🙂 Grew up down south. Travel the coast more than anywhere else.

  24. Hi Kat! Glad you like this blog and even gladder (more glad?) to hear we are both Coastsiders. Keep in touch, Kat. =]

  25. Hi – great blog! I am a resident of El Granada,and was born in Laguna, grew up in Capo Beach.

    I just read your post on Coastsider.com about downtown HMB. You made some great points about Laguna and it’s sustainability.

    Glad I found your blog. Keep up the good work!

  26. Hi Tim!
    Thanks a bunch! Now I must travel to your land (and New Zealand), so that I may enjoy your Pacific Highway. I hear it can be lovely experience too?

  27. Love your blog. Its almost 12 months to the day since I did a bicycle ride from Lompoc to San Fran. It was a fantastic experience full of great scenery, coincidences and small world experiences. Now back in Sydney I still day dream about the coast ride.

  28. Hola Peter! I’ve loved that fog description compilation of “C-Mac!” Been waiting for the time to use it. 🙂

    Santa Monica – where PCH routes inland along Lincoln Blvd … a boulevard had been desired instead.

  29. Just returning from the L.A. Times Festival of Books. I stayed in Santa Monica … which counts, right? Glad to see the reference to C-Mac’s Southern California, as you might imagine.

  30. Hi BSK!
    Very nice to have you here. Thank you for commenting too. I see many hits per day, but no one ever comments. =)

    I also was born and raised along the California coast. I’ve lived in Laguna, Newport, McKinleyville, S.F., HMB, with many visits to all other wonderful points. I’m glad you like what’s going on here. It’s a total labor of love.

    When we talk secession, perhaps we should have a West California secession? Unfortunately, so many of the developers would be included in that newly formed state. 🙂

  31. Very informative blog. I will be linking it under my “odds & ends” blog roll.

    I was born and raised along the California coast, coming up on 60 years, now, so I have seen a lot of changes in my lifetime. I like what you accomplish here.

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