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NorthWesty Trip :: Part 1

August 7, 2012

Day 1: Our first day of our NorthWesty Trip! We left before noon and had lunch at Bodega Bay. We drove a little farther north to Goat Rock Beach and after a steep hike down to the beach had a great time exploring. There were lots of rocks to climb and sticks to collect. The boys were in heaven.

Then it was a drive north to Fort Ross. Sam and I had a good time learning about the history of the area and the boys pretended to shoot off the canons.

We camped at the Salt Point State Park campground. Lesson learned: Don’t underestimate a pudgy raccoon.

Day 2: After a comfortable and relaxing night sleep in the Westy we packed up and made our way to Sea Ranch. The beach was gorgeous and there was plenty stick collecting and rock climbing to be had by all.

Sam and Oliver waked a short way down the beach to explore the tidal area and were rewarded with lots of kelp, mussels, and anemones.

In the afternoon we drove to the Mendocino area and camped at the Van Damme State Park. We braved the mountain lion risk and took a quick hike up the Fern Canyon trail.

Lesson learned: Don’t camp near water. The boys have no dry clothes left.

Day 3: The Mendocino area is known for its pygmy forests. These are places where the nutrients have leached out of the soil and the tree and shrub species that grow there are much smaller than in surrounding areas. Trees that are 1-2 feet tall can be 80 years old. We went on a quick boardwalk tour of one of these pygmy forests.

After lunch in Mendocino we got lost on the Lost Coast, but finally made it to Humboldt were we drove through the Avenue of the Giants. The redwood trees are stunning and its hard to show how big they are in photos.

After a dunk in the river, we camped at the Albee Creek Campground in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Lesson learned: No S’mores after dinner make for a much easier bedtime.

Day 4: After cleaning up camp we headed to the Rockefeller Grove of tall redwoods. These trees are enormous, and we saw some of the tallest trees that we will ever see. Ever.

We headed to Patrick’s Point State Park to camp.

A quick walk after dinner rewarded us with breathtaking views of the ocean crashing against the rocks.

Lesson learned: Drying laundry in a rain forest is counterproductive.

Day 5: We woke up wet and a bit cold. Everything that we left outside was covered in dew. We broke camp and made our way to Gold Bluffs Beach Campground in the Prairie Creek State Park.

After snagging a coveted spot at this campground we headed to the beach for a little play time.

Lesson learned: When in doubt, go to the beach.

Day 6: We had heard so much about the Fern Canyon near Gold Bluffs Beach that we headed there in the morning and were not disappointed. We had already been on a fern canyon trail in a previous state park, but this was a Fern Canyon! You walk up a steam bed crossing little bridges all the way. Both sides of the canyon are covered with ferns. It was so lush.

Then a long drive into Oregon, and a romp at the beach at Sunset Bay State Park, and to stay at a friends’ house in Coos Bay.

Lesson learned: Henry is too young for colored pencils. He ate the tips off of all of them.

Day 7: Laundry, dishes, clean out the van, groceries, TV, going out to dinner.

Lesson learned: After six days on the road, boy does it feel nice to take a hot shower, do the laundry, and sleep in a warm bed!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Cypress permalink
    August 7, 2012 10:00 PM

    you guys are the coolest parents EVER! 🙂

  2. Linda Schwan permalink
    August 8, 2012 12:46 AM

    Deia, that looks amazing! Thank you for sharing. It makes me want to go back NOW!!! Lots of love, Linda

  3. August 13, 2012 8:49 PM

    So awesome! I’m so glad you’re keeping a record of this for those lucky lucky boys.

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