Hello California!

Nicole here! Checking in from the California coast! It’s good to be back in our home state. It has been two full days since William last posted. Internet access has been shoddy at best, and our data is maxed out, making posting an expensive endeavor! We left Myrtle Creek bright and early on Wednesday morning and merged onto the 5. This was our first time on a major highway and we had a bit of a wake-up call as a few things fell over in the trailer (ie. our water filter spilled all over the floor and Zoe’s dresser toppled over) We were not yet accustomed to the momentum of the 55+ mph speeds but we have adjusted accordingly! We got onto the Redwood Hwy (CA -199, per my dad’s suggestion) in Grant’s Pass, OR. While eager to reach Crescent city and register our vehicles, we ultimately decided to take our time and enjoy this lovely stretch. We stopped and camped at Lonely Mountain RV Park, just three miles South of the CA border. It was a nice, quiet park run by a kindly, older couple. We pulled into our roomy space and headed out to explor the wooded creek area behind it. There were three teepees available for camping and a freezing cold swimming hole. We watched Zo splash around for a bit (this was one of her grumpier days, so the water was a much-appreciated reprieve. We had passed through Cave Junction a few miles earlier and decided to backtrack just a few miles and check it out. It was pretty charming and extremely hot! The locals were going on about how it still felt like summer….probably at least 90 degrees!

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We had a bite at a Mexican eatery called Carlo’s. The owners were so sweet and friendly with Zoe…we had a blast (and a beer). We wanted to check out the Oregon Caves National Monument, but found out that it was not a good choice for visiting with a toddler. They have several requirements for the rigorous tour (including height) so we will just have to come back in a few years! Instead we walked around town, stopping in at the bank, a cute thrift shop and the local market. Upon arriving back at camp we returned to the swimming hole. More splashing ensued, and unfortunately William got stung on the foot by a bee. He was fine, but we didn’t dawdle long. It felt so grand to be deep in a forest of pines…I just love the smell of the warm pine needles and the feeling of being surrounded by these marvelous trees. We were not yet in the redwood forest, but it was clear that we were getting close! It was a hot and stuffy evening and we all enjoyed our first bath and showers in the trailer! It was extremely refreshing and so great to have the water heater working without a hitch! My patience runs thin on hot days and I was really ready for some quiet time…Zoe didn’t get the memo and decided to prolong her bedtime peekaboo ritual for over an hour. Oy vey. Obviously, she succumbed to sleep eventually and we all got a good sleep.

We awoke in the morning, sun shining through the pines. I made a pretty excellent breakfast (if I do say so myself…) of scrambled eggs with spinach, bell pepper, chicken sausage and toast. And lots of coffee. This fueled us up and we we quickly packed everything, hitched up and hit the road yet again. Once we register the vehicles we intend to slow down the pace a bit, but until then we are very aware of the clock! The drive was stunning. Trees as far as the eye could see. We finally reached the redwoods and pulled over for a quick traipse through the regal giants. I wanted more time, but I know we will encounter many on our drive south. We reached the Crescent City DMV in about an hour…Hello California! It was cold and drizzling. Zo, Shep and I stayed in the trailer and snacked while William took care of business. 45 minutes and far too much money later and we were road legal! We have our CA plate for the trailer but still have a temporary registration for the truck. We will need to visit a weigh station and get a smog test before the truck is registered completely…we’ve got plenty of time however and can now take a bit of a deep breath. We are in CA and have until the 27th (check-in date for our 3 month stay at Le Sage Riviera Park in Grover Beach) to leisurely make our way to the central coast. Yes!

We considered staying in Crescent City, but it was only 11 in the morning at this point and it was not the most scenic of places. We found a park 30 minutes South on the Klamath River that would give us the Passport America 50% discount…score!. I keep saying this, but this might have been the most beautiful drive yet! A perfect blend of misty redwood forests and coastal views. Perfect. We were back on the 101 and, as always, there was some construction holding things up. We didn’t sweat it though, and instead jammed out to some great music and snacked on dried fruit as we waited. Soon enough we were pulling up to the Klamath River RV Park. The most scenic spot yet! We have a beautiful view of the river and the whole park is a grassy paradise, with a playground, fire pits, riverfront chairs and a super relaxed feel.
After setting up we even considered staying a second night, but decided we would keep moving forward. We took some photos of Zo sitting by the river and spotted some river otters swimming about!
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It was well past lunch-time at this point so I threw some spaghetti fixins in the Instant Pot while the rest of the fambam followed a trail at the back of the camp. After a satisfying linner (our main meal these days…) we backtracked a few miles to check out the Trees of Mystery. The trails were closed for the day, but we decided that this was a hidden blessing, seeing that it was $15/person to enter and most definitely a tourist trap.
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Instead, we were able to snap a few pics of Paul Bunyon and Babe and check out a nearby coastal trail instead. Zoe was exhausted but we still enjoyed throwing stick for Shep, climbing on giant driftwood and trying to identify the odd bugs in the sand. It was a lovely beach! It smelled soooo good, like pine resin and salt. We had a bit of a hard time convincing Zoe to head back to the car (she would have preferred to sit in the wet sand all evening I think) but we eventually got the crew piled back in and drove to camp.

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We put on Peter Pan (William had the foresight to download a couple of Disney classic movies) and settled in for the night. William ran to and from the laundry room as we caught up on our piles of dirty clothes and Zozo and I cuddled up on the couch. It is now 8:30 and she has been snoozing soundly for 45 minutes or so…not bad! It was another full day! We still don’t know where tomorrow will take us. We would like to stop in Trinidad for a bit and make it at least as far as Arcata. The Northern California coast is so amazing and wild and we want to see everything that we can. We are both open to the idea of staying in one place for several nights if it feels right. It would be nice to settle in for a bit and not tow the trailer for a few days. While William is becoming expert at the hitching/unhitching, it would be a welcome change of pace to stay in one spot for awhile. We will see what tomorrow brings! That’s all for tonight, it is time to cozy up with my hunny and enjoy some MST3K. Much love to everyone!

Sweet dreams,

~N

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