“Holy Cow! Look at that tree!” – Taio Om Wasylishen in reference to the Redwood trees in Jedediah Smith State Park.
The day started out in an abrupt, heart-pounding way. The four of us had been snuggled up in bed, sleeping peacefully when I awoke suddenly to the sound of some rustling at the window of our (somewhat dodgy) hotel room. I jumped out of bed and just as I got to the window, it slid open slightly. I immediately slammed it shut and heard footsteps running away. That will get the heart rate up quickly! It had been raining through the night and with lots of homeless people in the area, I’d like to think someone may have been looking for a place to stay dry. In all honesty, the place we were staying in kinda looked like an abandoned building. We had booked a room online, one with a kitchenette so we could maintain some semblance of minimalism and cook instead of eat out. The place ended up being a lot shadier than we anticipated. The motel was next to an old apartment building which the owners must have acquired and adopted as additional rooms with kitchens. Anyway, after that early morning fright, I was ready to move on.
Unfortunately, we were still waiting on our new tent to arrive from Amazon. So we had to hang around Crescent City during the day, hoping it would eventually come. What was supposed to be a day of waiting around turned out to be one of our best days yet. In the morning we visited Ocean City, the local aquarium in town. I was half expecting it to be a tourist trap, but it ended up being a really neat experience. Seeing as it is now off-season, we had a private tour of the facility. We held starfish and sea anemone, pet leopard shark and had a seal and sea lion show all to ourselves.
As Xavier’s naptime approached and still no sign of the tent we decided to take a drive through the nearby redwood forest. We were blown away by the majestic drive on the narrow road weaving through the massive redwoods. The trees were magnificent, especially at this time of the year with the changing leaves. Coast Redwoods are taller than any other living thing and can live for over 2000 years! It really is something to see, almost prehistoric looking. Taio was amazed and kept finding trees that were even bigger than the last (see quote above!). I wonder if he’ll remember any of this when he’s older.
After the drive and when Xavier was awake, still the tent had not arrived. We headed for a picnic on the beach and the kids played yet again for hours in the sand and water. They are quickly becoming beach bums and even without sand toys are amused endlessly. Finally around 4pm we checked on our tent shipment. Turns our Fed Ex had an unexpected power outage at the handling depot our tent was coming from and there was no telling when it would arrive. So we hit the open road and headed further down the coast. We spent the last two nights in Eureka, California at a KOA campsite. They had the cutest little cabins that we just couldn’t resist. The kids are in heaven as it’s right across the way from a playground and heated pool & hot tub.
I am absolutely in love with California. The weather has been fantastic, the sun is shining and it’s warm. I see VW buses and Westfalias everywhere! The Cali coast is unbelievably beautiful. We’re in a place called Manchester Beach tonight, sleeping yet again in our original 3 man tent. There are no signs of wildlife out here, save for birds and a few bugs so I’m feeling confident about a good nights sleep!
Tomorrow we will pass through San Francisco to Santa Cruz where we’ll be spending the better part of this week. Stay tuned for more pics and updates on our adventure. As we travel to more populated areas, I’m hoping the internet improves. I’m in dial up mode out here!!