I am writing this from a Starbucks inside a Safeway in Oregon. We left Northern California Saturday morning. Once again I wasn’t ready to go. It seems like that is the overall trend of this trip. I am LOVING all the areas we are exploring so much that it feels like a small part of my heart gets ripped out and left behind when we leave each area.
We spent most of this week on the northern coast of California, and something unexpected started to happen. The ground we are starting to cover is starting to look and feel more and more like my childhood home (Vancouver Island). The smell of the seaside, the green moss growing every where, the stores, even the dress of the people is starting to remind me more of more of my Canadian Pacific Northwest roots.
I wasn’t expecting this to happen until we hit the state of Washington. By the time I write you next, my feet will be on the soil of my childhood island, but for now, let’s move on to what my family got up to during our travels this week.
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We arrived at our campsite near Caspar Beach, California right at dinner time Monday night. It was pouring rain, so as my husband was graciously unhooking and leveling the RV while we all stayed dry in the truck, I decided to search on my smartphone for a place to grab a pizza (a favorite dinner of my hubby’s).
When he got in the truck to tell us we could all go in and get a start on dinner I told him my idea and before I could give him the address he was already pulling the truck out of the campsite. We ended up at Frankie’s in Mendocino, a small town up the hill from our campsite. It was REALLY good.
Tuesday morning my husband and I headed into nearby Fort Bragg to get the truck’s brakes checked. For a while, both of us had been thinking they were getting a bit worn. We were right, turns out some of the brake pads were almost down to the metal. YIKES!
Thankfully we budgeted for such things when planning our trip so it wasn’t a money concern and we turned the time the truck was in the shop into some much-needed couple time by taking a good long walk around the seaside in Fort Bragg.
(psst—I really like my new Birkenstocks that you can see in the picture above. They are perfect for exploring, they give good support, are super comfy and are easy to slip off and on for beach walks.)
I was so moved by the contrast of the white foamy waves crashing against the dark grey rocks in a sea of various shades of blue. I spent most of our days exploring the Northern California coast saying, “wow!” over and over.
We came to the Fort Bragg area for one particular reason. A year or so ago a Facebook friend of mine had posted a picture similar to the one above. Those little gems are sea glass, and I have a fascination with it that dates back to my childhood.
Due to the unfortunate use of using the ocean as a dump many years ago, three Fort Bragg area beaches have a high concentration of sea glass and are known as the sea glass beaches.
Now, you are not supposed to collect the sea glass at these three particular beaches, instead just enjoy the beauty the high concentration of glass creates–but sadly we saw several people filling gallon-sized freezer bags with it. It made me sad.
Yes, I do collect sea glass on various beaches, but only where it is allowed. If a sign says don’t collect, I don’t. Plus these beaches are very different than the ones I have collected from. Never have I seen such high concentrations sea glass and it makes these beaches unique, soon they won’t be if people keep hauling the treasure away.
After visiting the sea glass beaches, we stopped at the Point Cabrillo Light Station. Inside we found a small museum about the area and a very informative volunteer.
The light station also has several guest homes available to rent, and I might have just stuck the business card with their info on it into my purse so I could dream about a future vacation to one of them.
They were large, 100+-year-old restored homes with excellent views of the beach and they were tucked away from everything else. It would truly feel like you had the whole beach to yourself. And yet I never did snap a picture of the homes (Sorry. Trust me–they are awesome).
We had two full days to explore the Fort Bragg area. On the second day, we went north up Highway One, stopping whenever a view “wowed” us and that was pretty often.
One such place was Ten Mile Beach. At first, all we could see was sand dunes, then as we reached the summit of the last sand dune this huge beach came into sight with large roaring waves as far as the eye could see.
We saw several sea lions resting on the shore, plus a vast collection of sand dollars.
Further, down Highway One we saw several rock arches like the one above.
And just when we thought the area couldn’t get any more beautiful we were treated to wooded arches over the highway.
On our return trip to our RV for dinner, we stopped at one more beach in the town of Westport. There we found tiny black pebbles instead of sand.
They stuck to my feet, and were very warm! I stopped, laid down and had a nap in them while the family explored the area. When I got up, every inch of me that wasn’t covered in clothing had tiny black pebbles clinging to it.
I did my best to brush them all off, but there are still a few showing up now and then in our travel trailer.
Thursday morning we left the beach and headed towards Redwoods National Forest. We arrived at our campsite just outside of Crescent City once again in the pouring rain, and it continued to rain all night and all morning.
Thankfully it stopped around lunch time, allowing us to get out and explore the Redwood Forest without getting rained on.
I couldn’t get over how little my people looked in the forest made up of giant Redwood trees.
See what I mean? We could have made a home out of some of the openings in the bottom of the giants!
As I write it is now Saturday and as I said we are now in Oregon, but not for long – we plan to hit Washington by Monday. So far I am loving the ocean views available on Highway 101 in Oregon. We are staying in two state parks during our drive through the state, but truly don’t have the time we wished to explore the state. Five and a half months sounds like forever, but with so much area to cover and so much to see, we had to cut a few things out.
My husband and I have already mentioned a few times lately that perhaps one day we could come back just the two of us and drive through Oregon at a more leisurely pace. This trip truly does have use dreaming of more travels, but first, we need to enjoy the rest of the one we are on.
How To Follow Us Now That The Journey Is Over
My husband and I are currently traveling one weekend a month, you can check out our adventures on our blog The Parents Flew The Nest.
We also have an Instagram account that we keep updated with our most recent travels — @theparentsflewthenest is where you can find us there.
Wisdom Learned On The Road
Want to read more about our RV trip? Dig into the links below!
Week 11 Update: Sea Glass Beaches and The Giant Redwoods of California (you are here)
Become A Snail Pacer
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