The final stretch of Highway 1 north to the Oregon border deserves many return visits. On this journey, we see Roosevelt Elk resting and rebounding after decades of flirting with extinction. We follow my old friend and inspiration, Phyllis Cangemi, into a forest that nurtured her ravaged body. And we reached the Oregon border all too soon. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll post other videos and notes we have on the towns of Ferndale, Arcata and Crescent City. We’ll float the free-flowing Smith River, the only major river in California to flow unencumbered from its source to the sea, and climb high into the coastal mountains to find out about the region’s mining history. This northwestern sliver of California is far removed from the nearest big metropolitan area, a good seven hours north of San Francisco. It’s sufficiently beautiful with its big rivers, ancient redwoods and long and empty beaches to attract hordes of tourists. But it’s far enough away to keep the crowds low and the landscape untrammeled. For me, that’s an almost perfect combination.