Trip Start Apr 28, 2009
37Trip End Jul 03, 2009
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Jesse Honeyman State Park near Florence, Oregon
After saying goodbyes to Rory and her family Wednesday morning, and attending to some truck maintenance, we headed up northwest of Sacramento, up the Cache Canyon valley in Yolo county. Golden hills, green trees, farms and on up into the hills. Connected with Route 101 and continued on to Humbolt State Park, where the biggest Redwoods are. We camped right in the middle of them - very dark down in, despite the sun still shining above.
Next morning, we spent time at the visitors' center, and lots of time driving and walking among the trees in various stops in the park. We did go through the lesser visited section of the park - even walked a log across a stream to see the biggest redwood in the US (and the world, I guess that would be) - a million pictures that barely do justice - like the canyons and cliffs in the southwest, you can't FEEL what it is like with a picture. They are literally awesome.
We decided to take the time to wander and spent the next three hours driving a very remote 60 mile circuit from Humboldt State Park west, circling around to Ferndale to the north. We switchbacked up a high ridge (a 4,000 foot mountain range) then down the other side to the tiny town of Honeydew. Golden hills, redwoods, rivers (the Matole in the valley where Honeydew lies) - stopped at the Honeydew store - then on over to the sea - the grass got greener, just as remote - and then 5 miles right along a beach (no access, all private land, a ranch - cows on the other side of the road) to Cape Mendicino (though far north of the town of Mendicino) - then inland, again up and over - windy, slow, bumpy (but paved) road - just spectacularly beautiful. A trip highlight for sure. The area is referred to as the Lost Coast. It is definitely a place to return to some day for hiking and camping and more time exploring. We loved it.
FINALLY down into Ferndale - Peter (Rory's Peter) had told us it was a nice town, and it was - all Victorian main street, still vibrant and a nice place to live, i'd think.
Back on 101, on up past Eureka to our campground at Big Lagoon - a county park near Trinidad, CA - just that, a big lagoon separated from the sea by a barrier beach - campground on the lagoon. Walked along the lagoon beach (parts of Jurassic Park filmed there) - next morning a great beach walk out on the ocean beach - dogs could be off-leash and loved it. Belle resumed her frantic digging game with a stick this time (tennis ball last time at Carmel) - had a chat with a woman renting out kayaks - she gave us some tips for the drive north - then headed on up to Oregon. Pretty drive through redwoods and along bluffs on up through the last bit of California. Lots of stops to see the views. Another wonderful beach (rivals Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur) at Myers Creek, Oregon. Sea stacks, a grotto/arch in one, turquoise water. dogs running free (and Belle digging with a clam shell her focus this time) - just a great place to spend time.
Tonight we are at a state park at the Oregon Sand Dunes - miles and miles of dunes 2 miles wide - a huge busy state park (Friday night) - they allow 4-wheelers on the dunes and that seems to be the focus - we walked up to the top of one and looked out - you can't actually get over to the beach from here - interesting place. Campground isn't bad considering the size and clientele.
Thinking of TA graduation tonight - haven't missed that in years!