Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Northern California

Our trip through northern California included many stops in the Redwoods.  The rains that had started while in southern Oregon were still with us and it made for some pretty cold and damp conditions.  Even still, or maybe because of it, hiking in the redwoods was very etherial and hard to leave.

We spent a cold, monsoon-rain night in Jedediah Smith State Park (shooting location for the planet Endor, from Return of the Jedi).  It was hard to sleep with the relentless rain and worrying of a stray branch falling from 300ft above, but we survived.

We then headed south to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and got a nice spot in the meadow.  It was nice to feel the sun and to dry out for a couple of days.  We enjoyed watching the elk herds in the morning during our many hikes and seeing dozens of banana slugs.

Next, we went to Humboldt Redwoods State Park and spent another couple days hiking and mountain bike riding.  Whether on the trail-a-bike or on her own bike, Abigayle was becoming quite a mountain bike adventurer.

Finally, it was time to move out of the redwoods and head south to San Francisco.  On the way, we stopped and visited some friends in Ukiah (Sorry, Dyan, I can't believe we didn't take even one picture) and spent a day in Santa Rosa.  In the bay area, we parked in Sausalito and rode the bikes across the Golden Gate bridget to San Francisco.  We cruised around San Fran for a couple hours before returning to Sausalito for dinner.  That night we stayed in China Camp State Park before heading to Sacramento to stay with family.

The highlight of Sacramento was staying with family and Abigayle getting to celebrate Halloween with other kids.  It was the first time we had slept in a house in over 2 months, so it was a little strange at first.  After leaving Sacramento, we headed toward Santa Cruz to hang out with a group of folks from MTBR.com (a mountain bike group) for a day of riding and camping in the Soquel Demo forest.  The people were all really nice, the riding was quite awesome, and the food was outstanding!  This would also be our last time camping in the Redwoods, and while we were sad to see the last of the big trees, we were also looking forward to camping in warmer, dryer conditions.  As we worked our way south, we had several great beachside camping spots, and took advantage of many a taco stand (I love CA!).

The calm before the monsoon in Jedediah Smith State Park.
Redwood in Jedediah Smith State Park.
A coastal overlook.
View from Prairie Creek campground.
Big Tree.
Having lunch with the sea-life.
Sea Cliff State Beach campsite.
Concrete ship from WWI.  The smell coming from this thing is awful!
Golden Gate bridge.
Riding across the bridge. 
Atop Russian Hill with Coit Tower in the background.
Riding down Lombard Street.

Happy Halloween!
Sylvia and her cousin Cassandra. 
Abigayle with her cousins.
The Monterey surf.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


We continued our journey south to Oregon.  We stayed for a week at Champoeg State Park, south of Portland.  While there, we caught up with some friends (our first time hanging out with friends since our trip began) who took us out for the day to help celebrate Travis' birthday.  We visited the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, which houses the Spruce Goose.  Abigayle enjoyed the museum, but it was even more fun because she had friends to share a child's point of view with.  Our good fortunes with the weather also ran out in Portland, as we endured biblical rains for several days.  Finally escaping the weather, we headed east to Bend, OR.

Bend was one of the places Travis was looking very forward to visiting.  We setup camp for a week in Tumalo Falls State Park, and spent nearly every day exploring the mountain biking in the area.  Our friends from Portland came down for a day of riding and playing, and we enjoyed a great dinner and brew at the Deschutes Brewery.

Sadly, we had to leave Bend and cross back over the Cascade mountains before a big snowstorm hit.  On our way, we drove through Crater Lake National Park and had an exciting time driving the RV on the snowy roads.  We camped for a couple nights at Valley of the Rogue State Park while waiting out the remnants of the storm.  Our next destination is the Redwood forests of northern California!

Welcome to Oregon.
Campsite in Bend.
Resting at Farewell Bend Park.
Walking bridge at Drake Park.
Abigayle and Travis riding the Deschutes River Trail in Bend.
Catching air on a unicycle, crazy!
Welcome art at the Bend Park and Recreation Office.
Trail art on Phil's Trail.
Abigayle's leaf bouquet.
Giddy-up dino!
Great friends from the
Portland area who drove 3 hours to visit us in Bend!!
Deschutes Brewery after a hard day of playing!
Heading up towards Crater Lake, road conditions are getting slick.
Roads are pretty nasty now, but the RV did fine.
Abigayle gets to eat an icicle.
Crater Lake.
Crater Lake.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The rest of Washington

After leaving Anacortes, we caught the ferry from Coupeville to Port Townsend on our way to the 
Olympic Peninsula.  We spent several days camping in the Olympic National Park.  Our favorite place was the Hoh Rainforest which, even though it had not rained in a while, was still filled with vibrant green colors.

We worked our way south after leaving the Olympic National Park, on our way to Mount St. Helens.  The devastation at Mount St. Helens was just amazing to see, but it was also cool to see how much had grown back since I had visited there in 1994.
On the ferry to Port Townsend.
Bike riding along Lake Crescent.
Looking out over Lake Crescent
Big Sitka Spruce tree in Hoh Rain Forest.
Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park.
Banana slug.
Another banana slug.
Hoh Rain Forest stream.
more stream
Big Cedar Tree in Olympic National Park.
On the beach in Kalaloch.
Chloe is trying to will herself back to the RV.
Mount St. Helens debris flow.
View from the Johnston Ridge Observatory.
Getting the Mount St. Helen ranger badge.