There are a few reasons this particular trip came up. I love driving through the mountains and along the coast in the south bay area where I live. I’ve driven a few hours south, but never really gone north of San Francisco. Jenny’s from Washington and wanted both to visit friends and family as well as show me the Hoh Rainforest. I also have a sexy new Honda Fit, which I’ve been lusting over for years due to its utility while camping. Hoocha, hoocha, hoocha- our camping road trip was born.
This is the sloppily pieced together journal I’ve written up upon returning home.
Often times on weekends Jenny and I will plan to get up early and do something. We set the alarm, psyche ourselves up for whatever it is we plan to do, and promptly turn the alarm off in the morning when it goes off so we can get more sleep. Surprisingly, we actually got our asses out of bed and packed the car up when we actually intended. I chalk this up to wanting to get the hell away from school and work and people before we blew up all three.
We had a campsite reserved in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park the first night, which is far enough north to take forever if you take main highways. Driving up Route 1 along the coast makes it a good bit longer, technically, but the drive didn’t wear on me at all thanks to the beautiful sights and fun driving of the coast and not wanting to drive off a cliff and become a part of it.
There were a constant signs warning of elk, though no elk to be seen. I did start Elk Watch ’09, however, since I’ve never seen one before and was rather excited to see one standing in the road.
There were also a couple brief stops along the way. The most notable being a brief detour to drive my car through a giant redwood tree, so I could say that I had. I was super underwhelmed with the size of the tree, expecting it to be significantly larger. I was more impressed, and depressed, that so many old people were standing around it taking pictures and video of every car go through. We also took the opportunity here to let a bumble bee out of my car that I swear I’d let out two or three times prior. I let it out later in the day as well. I’m really not sure if the same bee kept getting in my car or if I had really taken in that many bees while driving with the window open. Just know that I let it out later on as well, and every time we entered the car for the entire rest of the trip I’d have to do a bee check, and even then I’d occasionally have to pull over and let one out of the car. So many bees.
Driving with the window open also lead Jenny to putting on her hoodie, while I only had on a thin t-shirt. This is an important fact to note when I talk about setting up the tent while surrounded by giant mossy redwoods in the middle of a forest where there are mosquitoes. I didn’t even notice that there were mosquitoes out, because they were all busy attacking Jenny through her thick body-covering hoodie for her sweet bloods, leaving me alone entirely. It wasn’t until she sprayed herself down that they decided to bother me, and once I applied bug spray myself and evened the playing field, they all resorted back to her. I thought it was great, but I’m guessing it was not a mutual feeling.
The campsite was absolutely amazing, but staking in a tent when there’s giant tree roots everywhere is a complete pain in the ass. I tried relocating the tent over and over, angling the stakes, hammering them with rocks and the heads of screaming children. Nothing worked. While Jenny started up a fire, I grabbed a piece of wood to use as a much more efficient and painless hammer and finally managed to get them into the ground.
Checkout was at noon, and we only had a couple hour drive to our next campsite at Tillicum State Beach in Oregon, so we packed up the car and ate breakfast along a small trail behind our site. Before actually heading out we checked out a short nearby trail that lead to an opening of xbox hueg trees, some standing, some fallen over, creating a cool place to climb around and take photos. The Oregon coast is impressive as hell, and quite different than California. Giant rocks jutting out of the out of the beaches and water where they have no business, making impossible to reach islands of trees. I’m actually really curious what sort of animals are able to make it up there without being able to fly elsewhere, and how delicate a contained ecosystem that must be.
The problem, Oregon, is that you don’t have a road along the entire coast. No, you try to draw people in to your tiny little towns, don’t you? And do you know what the speed limit in these little towns is, people? Fucking 25 and 30. In and out of 50-60mph coastal windy roads that dump you off into a goddamned slow, stupid town. DON’T YOU KNOW I’M FROM MASSACHUSETTS?! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY.
We came up to Oregon’s Sea Lion Caves, and made a pit stop to check it out. With Jenny’s knee fresh out of surgery, there was a lot more steps and steep walkways than I think either of us were comfortable with her taking. She kicked the stairs’ and walkways’ faces’ asses, though, and we went down into the cave- which was quite large. The world’s largest, even, so they claim. When we got back to human elevations again, we asked where in the hell Tillicum Beach was, since we thought we may have passed it. Nobody knew. Sweet!
Figuring the day was still fairly young, I kept driving north and it was only moments before I was about to turn around that I noticed a sign. Tillicum Beach! HUZZAH! WE HAVE FOUND IT! Then we pulled in.
I thought one of my bosses suggested it as an awesome place to camp. Maybe because there was a beach nearby and beach==surfing? If he did suggest it, and if he’s reading this right now- you’ve blown your credibility, sir. Most of the sites were occupied by people with RVs, and dogs named Beauford, which blocked the view of the beach for every other site. Also, ours was right next to the bathroom, but at least it was downwind of us. We considered switching to a different site, but that would have required paying for it and petitioning the reservation site for a refund on the original site. We opted to stroll along the beach, then drive to town, buy some cheese and wine, and get drunk by a campfire instead.