Afterwards we continued south. Beauty abounded and we were treated to the most gorgeous sunset as we made our way to the California state line. I captured some video of it that I will try to upload to facebook when and if we are able to get some faster internet.
Once we crossed the state line, we were amused by what seemed to be a "border crossing" but was an "Agricultural Inspection Station". Of course all of the vehicles ahead of us were waved through and we were stopped. He asked us a couple of quick questions and then we were off to our first California RV Park. It was called Salmon Harbour and was just North of Crescent City. It didn't seem like much at night, but in the morning we had beautiful views of the ocean and spent some time together on the beach running and skipping stones. Even Harley enjoyed playing in the water.
Yes, Nolan's been trying to get EVERYTHING in his mouth (the exact opposite of his sister). I had to bat his hand away several times as I attempted to get his picture.
These two have had a ball playing on the beach together. Their bond makes my heart swell
After some fun on the beach we packed up, and started heading south. We made a stop in Crescent City where I talked to one of the Rangers at the Visitors Centre for Redwoods State and National Parks. He gave me the best advice on where we could go with the rig, and then we stopped for lunch at a place recommended by a local, called Vita Cucina (I've been dreaming of their Pastrami Sandwich ever since!).
Delicious sandwiches and fresh juice
Afterwards it was onwards to Redwood National Park. On the way we had to stop at the Vista Point for False Klamath Cove. It was so gorgeous, with the black rocks and sparkling water. The photos I captured do not do the view justice!
As we wound our way through the first of the trees, they reminded us a bit of the one's we'd seen in Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island, but as we drove deeper into the grove they just got more and more impressive. We finally pulled over at the visitors centre that the Ranger had told me about and we headed in. We picked up a few postcards and Halle was given a booklet to complete some tasks to become a "Jr. Redwood Ranger". She was so thrilled about it and loved searching for items, answering questions and learning about the forest and it's ecosystems. The whole time I just thought, "What a great learning experience for this girl". We met a very kind lady as we explored and she excitedly offered to get a photo of the four of us in front of one of the massive trees. I'm so glad that she did, as it was our first family photo of the trip.
little girl, huge tree
For such big trees, the root system is very shallow - between 12 & 18 inches!
We didn't get to wander too deep into the forest as the dogs are not allowed on trails in any National Park, so we left after a short wander, promising ourselves that we would return again one day. Happy with our little exploring, we made our way to Eureka where we stopped at Target to grab some groceries. I connected to their wi-fi briefly to search out a new RV park but turned up nothing exciting. In the end, I searched on our GPS and we spent the night at Stafford RV Park in Stafford, California. The place was big, quiet and practically empty. Brett cooked up a delicious dinner and after Nolan's bath we enjoyed some time by a campfire... with marshmallows for Halle - of course!
Typical - Halle loves her brother, and Nolan just wants what's on the plate...
He loves nuzzling his sister. They adore each other, and I'm so glad I can capture these moments
The next morning we were off, with plans to get as close to San Francisco as possible. We stopped for lunch in a small town and as Brett and Halle jumped out of the truck to grab something, I spotted a tick crawling across Parker's face. I yelled for Brett to come back and he squashed it. We immediately checked ourselves and the kids all over, finding nothing, followed by a check over of the dogs. We located a second tick that had embedded itself into the skin around Parker's eye, that Brett had to remove with tweezers. Hopefully it was the last of our run-ins with ticks.
We made it as far as Windsor, California that night and stayed at a place that seemed a little rough around the edges. Needless to say, we stayed in our trailer all night there, but booked ourselves into a nice RV Park in Paso Robles for the weekend, called Vines RV Resort.
The drive was long, but the RV Resort was nice to arrive to. After setting up we headed into Paso Robles for dinner and ended up at Fish Gaucho, where we all enjoyed delicious Mexican, including Nolan, who these days wants to eat anything we are eating. I would go back in a heartbeat to eat those short rib tacos!
The next afternoon we revisited Paso Robles to partake in some wine drinking. We ended up at one tasting room and that was it for me. I enjoyed tasting a dozen wines from Grizzly Republic Wines, and left with a bottle of their delicious Shiraz.
With Mom appeased, it was time to do something for the patient little one. We stopped into the Brown Butter Sugar Company for a few free samples, plus more to go, then hit the park for some play time.
Then, on our way back a little something for Brett - a stop at Firestone Walker Brewing Company to sample some beer and grab some to go.
Overall, California has been excellent to us so far. The weather has been rainy and even a bit "rainy" since we arrived in Paso Robles, but nothing we can't handle after living in B.C. For now - time for more family time and fun! We'll check in later this week once we arrive in San Diego!