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.