According to Google, the drive home from Fort Bragg, Calif. should take ten hours. We did it in fourteen. Clearly, we didn’t follow Google’s plan. Instead, we stopped (or drove) anywhere something looked interesting — and took pictures.
A few roadside turnouts along the Pacific.1 The coast is so beautiful! We had to stop multiple times to take it in.
Drive-Thru Tree Park in Leggett. Six years ago, we had another Mendocino weekend and stopped here on the way home to take pictures. Traditions are hard to break.2
Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Kevin hadn’t seen redwoods before, so we had had our excuse to stop and take pictures. And hug trees. And sit on logs. And take more pictures.
Avenue of the Giants. Stopping in the park wasn’t enough redwoods so we drove through miles of those gorgeous, big trees. Amazing! And we stopped some more.
Paul’s Live From New York Pizza in Eureka. Mmm… How did we know where to eat before smartphones with maps and Yelp?3
False Klamath Cove just south of Wilson Creek and Crescent City. At six in the evening and still in California, we should have kept driving, but we were ready for a break.4 We knew there was going to be enough driving in the dark of the night that we might as well enjoy a little more beach. Kevin and I threw sticks and logs into the ocean while Suzi and Ashley wrote on the sand. It was well worth the stop!
And that doesn’t count filling the car a couple of times.5
I think one was in the windy twisties. Those in the back seat (and maybe in the front) needed a break. ↩
For our Saturday excursion, Suzi and I rented1 four kayaks to explore Sunset Lake. Ashley got a larger life vest for Mousse.2
Suzi, Ashley, Heather, and I boarded our kayaks. Ashley had Mousse join her. Things went swimmingly until Mousse went swimming. Thanks to Mousse’s life vest and its handle, Ashley was able to get Mousse back on board. Turns out, Mousse likes to swim and is fast. And Mousse likes to swim a lot! With her life vest, we didn’t worry about Mousse getting dog tired. We could paddle next to her and let her dog paddle.
By the way, if you are looking for a nice place to rent some recreational kayaks around Seaside, Cleanline treated us well. I’m sure they’d do the same for you. The owner is friendly. That wasn’t too surprising. The kids who helped put the kayaks on my car were friendly, too, introducing themselves, shaking my hand, asking how my visit was, etc. Wow!↩
Although we also got one for Meisa, it’s going back; Meisa said nothing doing to putting on a life vest so she could sit on a tippy kayak. Instead Meisa relaxed, tied up at our campsite. ↩
Camping near Sunset Beach, it would be sad not to be on the beach while the sun is setting. A cloud layer at the horizon blocked the orange rays, leaving yellow and blue, while the flat beach reflected the clouds.
Suzi and I preceded the kids by a day on our Fourth of July camping trip. This is likely the first time Suzi and I have camped without the kids since Ashley appeared on the scene. Wow!
We had decided late in the game that we were going to go camping this weekend. There were no reservations available so we thought we’d throw a tent in the car and head to the beach on Thursday after Suzi got home from working the night, hoping to find a walk in campsite.
So we did but we weren’t finding anything. Headed south, Suzi told me to turn right, she’d seen a campground sign. It didn’t look promising, but we pulled in to take a look. They had one site available from a cancelation just minutes before. As we were pondering, someone else called to see if there were any sites available. We heard the host discussing all the campgrounds that were full with the caller and decided it was either this place or our back yard. We took it.
We drove home to pack the rest of our stuff and then back again in time to see the setting sun.