Island Map Publishing finished mapping the coast of California in 2023, which was quite a feat, taking over a year. The time was used to draft, research, edit, proof, and then visit map areas in person to get the approval of knowledgeable locals. Our 8 maps of California were challenging due to the terrain along the coast, bathymetry underwater and all the people and small towns to sort out. The exception to the latter (people and towns) was remote northern California.
Many in America equate San Francisco as the north end of California, not so! After San Francisco there’s another 1/3 of the state to the north that has far fewer people but lots of beautiful coastline, rivers, wilderness, and some of the biggest trees on earth, Redwoods, which can be over 2,000 years old. My wife and I traveled up the northern California coast to Oregon a few years ago and really enjoyed the redwood forests, where scenes from Star Wars were filmed. The coast is lovely, and we enjoyed looking at sea life in tidal pools along the way while tasting seafood at quaint restaurants on the coast. Several exotic oysters have established populations along the coast due to oyster farming operations, but I found the native California oyster to be the tastiest. Conservation efforts are underway to re-establish the native oyster before the exotic oysters displace them.
All the wilderness in northern California created a problem, we didn’t know anyone to review our two maps there. Luck fell upon us when a young cousin informed us, she was working on maps of the California Coastal Trail for the state as part of her job in San Francisco. When I found out the area of coastal trail, she was working on was northern California, I realized divine intervention had occurred and our maps turned out beautiful as a result! The same cousin cartographer has since moved to Europe with her husband but is still helping our senior cartographer in Naples with our maps.
The happy ending to this story can be seen on the maps of Northern California below, beautiful in every sense. If you are touring California someday, don’t stop until you’ve seen the northern part of the state including the incredible redwoods!