23 May 2016
Packing up our wet Nube and dry hammocks was a cinch, although slightly sappy and damp, camp was all put away in the trunk of the car within 30 minutes. That half hour took into account the time it took to stuff our sleeping bags away, deflate and fold my air mattress, and take a quick bathroom break before loading into the car. The bathrooms were primitive, with only a toilet situated over a hole in the ground, but it did provide toilet paper and had just been cleaned by a ranger. We were happy to have found Bastendorff Beach. Read more about Day one of the road trip. We checked out Waypoint Beach, clambered on the rocks in the ocean, rinsed off our feet, then cruised on down the highway. For many traveling US Highway 101, the redwoods were the destination. Josh had never seen them and I only once, while dragging along my brother, who sadly didn’t appreciate them all that much. The Avenue of the Giants was the highlight of the day and was very enjoyable.
Bayrock Waypoint Finding Point (I swear that’s the real name!)
Sandy feet are fun for a little bit, but a little annoying after a day or two. Getting back in the water was fun but very cold. After a brief photo shoot on the rock and noticing the dramatically rising tide, we were off that rock (timing it with the waves so we wouldn’t get too soaked) and off to explore the cave we had noticed earlier.
Our cave ended up being a very interesting tunnel with some fun and interesting sea anemones. Pocking around our discovered little land mass and tunnel turned into an hour or more event., causing many giggles, funny faces, and “hey, look at this!”. Sandy and cold we slogged back in the direction of the vehicle, but before we could load the entire beach onto the floor boards we went in search of one of those nozzle things that beach park designers are so kind to provide in the event you do not want to take the beach with you. Josh, not having seen one in any of our previous stops, headed straight for the bathroom and all the acrobatics that rinsing feet in the sink would entail. Hoping not to hop around on a foot with the other dangling in the sink and trying to get my shoe off, I spotted the glorious nozzle and proceeded to rinse. As it became apparent that Josh had not seen my zig-zag to the beloved nozzle, I sloshed my damp shoes back on and shuffled back towards the bathroom to let him know of the easier method. Wet but non-sandy we situated ourselves in the vehicle once more.
Avenue of the Giants – Redwoods
Completing the 33 miles of the Avenue of the Giants, I think we were both a little disappointed with the redwoods. Don’t get me wrong, these trees are magnificent creatures, so many of them hundreds of years old, but at least in Founders Grove many of them had been felled, most likely by high winds, reduced root support, or something else. It was sad to see such giants fallen and continuing the cycle of life by breaking down and providing nutrients to living trees.
Out of the twelve or so trees in Founders grove about 3 redwoods were still standing. We were impressed by the burnt out centers of some of these trees that continued to grow and thrive. The a living organism could withstand so much destruction and only look more beautiful and rugged was awe-inspiring.
Although the stop wasn’t all that I had thought it would be, driving through the forest was very enjoyable. Spending an hour or so was more then enough for the two of us.
Fort Bragg – Motel 6
Once again cruising along US Highway 101, leaving the redwoods behind us, we ebbed and flowed like the ocean coast we were following. Checking the free camping website was sadly no help for us in this instance, so we had to wing it and much like earlier in our travels anything that looked decent was listed as “no camping” or didn’t have a bathroom or trees. We needed/wanted trees for our hammock and on the other I really wanted a bathroom with running water to hopefully wash my hair. It appeared that we were out of luck on both accounts. Looking into hotels in the area at reasonable prices, we found this little gem (really, Motel 6 is a gem?, why yes it is! just check out the photos). The floors were nice and clean hard wood, with a large bathroom that was easily navigable and an all important comfortable bed. Continue reading →