Traveling by car isn’t always the greatest thing for long distances, but when it’s a looker of a route and you’ve got good company it can be much more fun than a flight, especially to a cannabis lover. Like any substance, don’t plan on driving while being intoxicated, but plan on drawing straws to decide who will cart around the high people, because doing this strip of road while enjoying California and Oregon’s finest cannabis should be on a potheads bucket list.
Though it’s obvious you shouldn’t drive while high, on these roads it can’t be stressed enough. It’s a slightly scary drive with mountain edges, steep grades, sharp curves, and tons of trucks, so just let the sober person remain as such while you experience all of the sights and sounds. There’s plenty of places tostop along the way to let everyone enjoy it. It’s about four hours from Grant’s Pass Oregon to Arcata, California, and it’s four hours of some of the most beautiful natural scenery in America, so make sure to see it one day.
In Grant’s Pass you’ll start to see the unique coffee culture that is flourishing in the PNW despite Starbucks, so make sure to hit up a local like Caveman Donuts and Mexican Kitchen, super close to Diamond Cannabis for all of your weedballin needs. Grant’s Pass is a great place to stop and eat if you’re coming to this trip from the North, like Portland, and there’s even a coveted In-N-Out Burger. Grab some Animal Fries and head West on 199 to begin your descent through the hills and into the center of Northern California.
This is a mountainous path with ups and downs and tiny towns and recreational cannabis shops on the Oregon side, medical only on the California side. This state line area is where you start to see the first redwoods, which are as stunning in person as can be imagined. Ferns carpet the ground and suddenly you’ve gone back in time.
To a baked person staring out a car window, this is downright hallucinatory. Pull off on any number of turnouts, like Redwood Vista Point where you can spy a river, wander up into the forest, or just stretch your legs. Don’t forget a forest is a terrible place to light up, so keep a vape handy for that part.
Catch sight of real live elk before coming down into Crescent City, where the Pacific Ocean begins to greet you for the first time. Since it’s a bit treacherous, this is definitely a daytime drive, plus you’d miss all of the sights that are forthcoming. Crescent City makes another decent pit stop for essential life functions, but diners and delis and even the occasional seafood shack greet you as you come through the winding forest and begin to hug the coast and get into Klamath, you’ll want to stop frequently to check out the different beaches and lagoons, and maybe the Paul Bunyan Statue.
If you time this trip right, you can spend the entire hour of soul warming sunset along this strip of land in between the redwoods and the Humboldt lagoons, watching the fog roll in as the rocks turn black to let you know that night approaches. Like any western facing sunset, it’s not to be missed, and the beach is a perfect place to have a smoke, provided you take your butt with your butt when you leave.
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The last leg of this four-hour jaunt is occasionally coastal and occasionally forest-y, and as you’ve just hopefully watched an ocean sunset, it’s starting to get dark. Coming up into Arcata, you can find adorable hotels and, finally, some dispensaries that are among the first ones in California. If you’ve got the munchies, head to Rita’s, which has burritos literally the size of your head that are stuffed with delicious Mexican fillings, from Al Pastor to chorizo tofu.
Road trips take on a different meaning with a bunch of cannabis friends in the car, but make sure to be safe and avoid smoking while the car is moving, as this could be a headache for a sober driver should you get pulled over. Vapes and concentrates are the way to go unless you’re outside of the car. Taking a four hour trip through what looks like a scene out of Jurassic Park is as amazing and awe inspiring as it sounds. If you feel like you need more time, start the trip early and take an hour or two break every time you see something you like, you won’t regret it!
Photos: Danielle Guercio