The start of this trip has already felt so freeing and life-giving. It’s been a blessing to get out of a routine and be somewhere new at every moment.
On our first day on the road, Lisa and I took our time going down the coast starting in Florence, OR. Our first stop, was the Sea Lion Caves, a place Lisa had been wanting to go to since she moved to Portland almost 10 years ago. Although the caves only had one resident sea lion that day, we still enjoyed the mini-adventure.
We ended up camping just south of Florence in a quiet campground that we chose on a whim. The first night out in the cool coastal air was very refreshing which was good because I must have woken up twelve times that night.
Day two saw us to Cape Blanco park where we hiked up a quaint lighthouse for a spectacular view of the coast.
I must also mention upon our exiting of the camp Lisa and I heard strange noises that sounded like they were from within the car. After a minute of this I decided to pop the hood to see if something had gotten in there somehow. Lo and behold there were three feral kittens resting on the engine! They scrambled out in different directions and left us scratching our heads at the absurdity of these cats somehow finding their way in. About a half mile down the road and we hear another sound so we pull over expecting there to be a cat but we couldn’t seem to find it. After a bit of searching we find a very small kitten somehow stuck in the grill of the car. In a fortunate turn of events, a kind local lady stopped and called her father who lived just down the road. He showed up with tools and together we took off the grill and got the kitten safely to a no-kill shelter in the area that the local woman volunteered at.
That night we camped in Jedediah National Park where we were nestled between Redwoods and a river where otter pups played and swam circles around each other. We were officially in bear country now.
Day three was long with driving and we covered a lot of ground.
First stop was in Humbolt which we were interested in after seeing a screening of the independent film “Humbolt County” a few years back. It lived up to its reputation and reminded us of our time in Maui in the small town of Paia.
The next stop was Ferndale which was recommended to us by our friend Halley Roberts who also provided some excellent travel advice. Ferndale was incredibly charming and wouldn’t be the worst place to retire or live out the rest of your days as a small shop owner in the middle of pastor countryside.
After that, we continued on the 1 and hit up just about every small town of our choosing to get a taste of the quiet country life and ended up loving the town of Mendocino where we stopped for fish and chips. We should interject that we may not have stopped had it not been for the incredible travel guide provided by our dear friend Emily Curry, who saved us from skipping some wonderful sites.
Our last stop of the day before our final destination was a small swim spot off the 1 that was too tempting to not stop at for a quick dip. WORTH IT.
Again, at the advice of Emily, we arrived at Point Reyes in the dark of the night where we found another quiet campground with tons of wildlife adding cougars and bobcats to the list of animals in whose country we were now in. The next morning we woke up and drove all around the coast of Point Reyes which is a very short drive north of San Francisco.
We took a lot of film footage and are currently editing it. We’ll be posting a quick video of our first 3 days of the trip and we’ll continue to do that every week or so. Stay tuned!
Rory and Lisa