We left Big Sky early Sunday morning heading westward across Idaho to Washington and down through Oregon. Heading for northern California, we opted for this more scenic route over travelling south and crossing the desert landscape of Nevada.
After 615 miles on day one we pulled into a trailer park in Tri-cities, south east Washington. Being the only non permanent resident they were not sure how much to charge us and decided to give us the night for free. This was a good start to our return to camping after several days of luxury.
The next morning we hit the road and headed south through Oregon and again opted for the more scenic route by taking the coastal 101 after Portland. We pulled in for the night just north of the California boarder in a small beachside campground and enjoyed a stroll on the beach as the sun set. We were grateful to see the coast at long last and seafood was now OK to order from the menu again!
On Tuesday we woke to a rather wet and misty day which made visibility very poor as we continued to cruise the 101 coast highway south. These conditions did however make for some stunning views of the rugged coastline and sweet little seaside villages.
Crossing the border from Oregon into California we soon began our journey through the magnificent Redwood National Park and State Parks, which total an area of 158 km2 and are a designated World Heritage Site.
We drove a 20 mile dirt road through part of the redwood forest which was absolutely gobsmacking. We felt miniscule in the presence of these gentle giants which can stand up to 115 metres, making them the tallest trees on earth. Some of these trees are 1500 years old and grow an avergae of 30 cm per year. We pitched our tent in a campground nearby (on the outskirts of Crescent City) and hit the hay early as the mist rolled in thick and fast.
Wednesday was again a misty and chilly day. Continuing our drive along the Redwood highway we pulled in and set off on what was supposed to be a two hour hike. It turns out the trail signs over here are not as frequent or as accurate as those at home and we arrived back to the car some 4.5 hours later. Aside from this the hike was incredibly enjoyable and provided an almost private exploration of this part of the forest. As we increased in elevation the mist cleared and the sun poured through the tree tops, making for a magical experience indeed.
Later that day we headed inland toward Redding. As it was getting dark we pulled into an odd campground that was mostly deserted. It seems Summer is over and it is now too cold for other campers to be about in these parts. We enjoyed the silent surroundings.
On Thursday we continued our journey east and were treated to another gorgeous scenic drive along side Lassen Volcanic National Park. We arrived at our destination; a ranch in Janesville, just out of Susanville late Thursday afternoon.