Photographer:Noah Norris
Camera:Nikon f100, Mamiya 7
Film:Kodak Portra 400, Fujifilm Velvia 100

Three Weeks on the Pacific Coast Highway

120 and 35mm photographs from a classic West Coast road trip

The soft melody of rain coaxed me into resting just a little bit longer, It’s hard to leave a warm sleeping bag in such conditions. Laziness gave way to excitement and I found myself leaving Port Townsend in pursuit of all that the coast had to offer. I’ve dreamed of this trip for awhile now and today it all begins. My directions were simple: “South on 101”, so I hopped onto the highway and looped my way around the Olympic Peninsula, hitting all the best spots on the way and camping down forest roads. The best beaches in Washington are reached by foot so I put mine to the ground and wove myself through the pine needle trail until it turned to sand. I spent my last night in Washington at Second Beach before heading south in the morning. 

Oregon greeted me with fishing piers and run down espresso drive-throughs. A couple of days in, about when I hit Pacific City, I was met with a persistent fog that followed me down the coast for the next three days. Being from Texas this wasn’t something I was used too, so I took advantage of the tranquility it brought. 

I followed the coast highway into California and through the Avenue of the Giants. I was blown away by the beauty of the Redwoods, it may have been my favorite drive on the whole trip. Beautiful sunset views filled my next couple of nights as I explored the San Francisco area. From this point on the rest of the trip consisted of daily surf sessions as I hopped from one beach to the next. I’m brand new to surfing so to experience so many great waves in such a short period of time only stoked my passion for diving into the world of surfing even more. Eventually, three weeks and 1,573 miles later, I made it to San Diego, marking the end of a beautiful trip I won’t soon forget. 

Noah Norris is a freelance photographer formerly from Texas, and now calling the open road his home. See more of his film photography here and follow him on Instagram for an extended glimpse into the lie of a vagabond vanlifer

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