Day 1: Left Kingsburg Thursday Night (after work) at 10pm, May 21st. 1st night’s stop planned for 2am at a Walmart in Suison City. Called for permission. When we pulled in there were “no overnight parking” signs posted and another call to the store manager confirmed that city ordinance prevented us from parking there. Now what? It was late and we were sleepy. We didn’t take the road north to Napa as planned because we figured there would be more prohibitive city ordinances, so we continued on our route to 101. While trying to decide if we were on track or not, we looked for a place to pull over to access the maps. We finally found a turnout off the highway. It was a parking lot next to two buildings and had one car in it. One building looked like a bar or restaurant and one was an unmanned fire station and we thought hmmm…why don’t we just stay here.
Day 2: Friday May 22nd – We got back up about 7 and got to 101 before rush hour. It all worked out. We stopped to have breakfast and continued on at a very leisurely pace to Humboldt County Fairgrounds. We camped with water and electricity for $25 and there was a dump station there for the way out. It was just a few blocks to downtown Ferndale. We fell in LOVE with the town. It was sunny and nice and there were kids everywhere playing ball in the street and riding bikes all over. I told tom there must not be any internet service in that area for all the kids to be out. The whole downtown was like stepping back in time.
They have the oldest operating drugstore in the country there – a Rexall. Inside the shops were all original. and gorgeous. And the Rhododendron trees were INCREdible; one in every yard in FUL bloom. Amazing flowers in the pastures, cows everywhere next to all these great Victorian homes. Just a beautiful, beautiful place. The people were very friendly. We had planned on having dinner in the RV but decided to have pizza and beer at a restaurant in town. Then more foot tours of the town and back to camp. We picked up one local channel and Tom promptly fell asleep on the couch while I enjoyed our new chair and ottoman and finished a book I was reading.
Day 3: Saturday May 23rd – Slept in until 8 am. Amazingly wonderful nights rest. Mattress is super comfy. Joy made breakfast of bacon and eggs and smoothies at the fairgrounds while Tom met our neighbors Shannon and Kathy O’hare of obtainiumworks.net who were there for the Kinetic Sculpture Races. Which reminds me – we need to get business cards printed as soon as we get our logo. Tom did the dishes while Joy showered and got ready for the day. Joy wanted to go see the ocean since we were only 5 miles away. It was not an RV friendly road and Tim griped the whole way (later saying he was just kidding – he wasn’t REALly concerned we’d get stuck!) – The road was very narrow and had lots of low trees, but boy was it beautiful. Very pastoral – cattle ranches and old homes with views of the ocean.
Deserted beach. Wonderful little stop. Tom truly enjoyed the same road going back the other way into town. Then out of Ferndale – back across the VERY narrow bridge through Fernbridge, then back onto 101 north.
The sun came out and it was a lovely drive to Trees of Mystery – What Joy considered the destination of the trip. We had lunch at a picnic table in the RV parking lot. $30 to do the trails and ride the Tram up. We chose to hike down the “Advanced Hikers Only” trail and it was a lot of fun despite Tom falling a couple of time on his butt and Joy falling on her head (but saved the walking stick! )But at least we had the whole trail COMPLETELY to ourselves – the very best part. Then we came out at the gift shop of course – where Joy felt she deserved an ice cream cone – of course!
Back onto 101 north and the road went right along the beaches and it was so pretty but no time to stop because we were on our way into Medford Oregon. We decided to purchase a GPS and a Go Pro and we thought the Best Buy would have the right GPS and we really felt it would be beneficial on the trip. Plus if we made both large purchases in Oregon, we would save a bit of money in sales taxes. We hit Best Buy at 7:30 and got out with our purchases at 8:30. There was still light and Joy suggested we find a Walmart to stay at, but Tom wanted to get further to Klamath falls saying we could even park at his nephews house overnight if we needed. While driving through the Klamath national forest, we decided it might be a good idea to look for a campground there instead – it was dark at this point and Tom was very hungry. So we found a sign for campground ahead and pulled off into a very very dark road with no sings posted. We traveled a ways before Tom decided we’d better turn around. Joy had to get out with the flashlight to help Tom turn around and it was a communications ordeal – then we found (with the searchlight) a place we could park. Tom was NOT comfortable there, so we decided to have dinner and leave. We found a Walmart in Klamath and there were no unfriendly signs posted and a camper van in the back of the lot, so we pulled in. Hit the hay about 11.
Day 4: Sunday May 24th: Learned not to park with the bedroom window facing east!! Up bright and early and went into Walmart for some supplies and hit the road out to Beatty to Tom’s brother’s house. Stopped for gas. In Oregon, they have to fill up the tank. A visit with the fill-up guy revealed he was a neighbor of Tom’s nephew. When the meter clicked off at $180 dollars, Tom said he didn’t think it could be full, but the attendant assured him he heard it fill up. So we calculated mileage and it came out to 11.7 MPG – woo hoo! Unfortunately it was only 3/4 of a tank so not only did we not get a good reading. We won’t get one until the next fill up.
When we arrived at John’s house it was beautiful but we could tell it had rained recently. John said it had been pouring all week. I told him he could thank us for bringing the sunshine with us. Had a nice family visit and took John and Becky out to dinner and saw Johns new shop. Did not see the nephews as they were out of town to Christmas Valley. Showered and hit the hay around 10.
Day 5: Monday, Memorial Day. Up early and Tom had coffee with John while Joy got ready and made smoothies for breakfast. Discussed travel routes and hitched up the trailer (the main purpose for the trip) and got on the road around 8 am to go down through southeast Oregon to Lassen. Wonderful drive – no traffic. Thank goodness we have a big gas tank and our own restroom! Went through a lot of tiny ghost towns. Went through a lot of burned forests and lava stone beds. Arrived around noon and found the park mostly empty. The camp hosts were Gary and Barbara from Sacramento. Barbara said it was rainy and COLD all weekend. They had just purchased their 2nd motorhome a week ago, and we didn’t get to meet Gary because he had to go back home to get some things fixed. We talked to Barbara about their 100,000 miles in their Itasca, and what she didn’t like about their new Allegro.
Had a WONDERful hike around Manzanita Lake and found some dry firewood someone left behind. Met our camp neighbors – Jerry and Martha from Ohio/Kentucky and now Colorado. They invited us to their campfire that night, and we had a wonderful visit. They said their weather had been horrible since they left home and thanked us for bringing the good weather with us! We left the campfire at 10 and went into a cold motorhome, but our bedroom stays quite cosy.
Day 6: Tuesday, May 26th. It’s always hard to head home. We are so stoked to become full timers and learned a lot on this trip – like the first half of our 5 rules of adventuring. (More on that later). Joy’s daughter said that if we’re happy to get home – to our house – then that’s a sign that we’re not ready to leave it. But we’re not happy to get home. We’re feeling more and more like this RV is home and after talking with Barbara I’m even happier with our choice of brands.
Happy Trails to you,
Peace & Love, Joy