It’s only taken me almost three weeks to get to Day 2 of Stevie’s Revival Tour – maybe one day I’ll get the hang of this “blogging on time” thing…
I left off after a rough night in San Luis Reservoir. I was a little discouraged by this point, but ready to press on and get to the first real destination: Mount Shasta. This 14,000+ foot-tall mountain is known for its majestic snow-capped peaks and draws New Agers from all over with claims of energy vortices and ancient spiritual legends. Living a few hours south of Sedona, I’m no stranger to chasing down a vortex or two!
Despite the less than ideal events of the day before, the drive to Redding, about an hour south of Mount Shasta, was quite pleasant. The roads were straight and smooth, and I finally got a chance to relax and enjoy driving. But, as I’ve quickly come to learn with owning a vintage trailer – if it seems to calm and too good to be true…it probably is.
About halfway through the 6-hour drive, we heard a distinct “thump thump thump.” As I’ve shared before on my Instagram post about towing, I would always rather take the time to pull over and check it out than risk something being seriously wrong. I walked the whole perimeter of the trailer, checked the hitch and chains, and even went inside to see if it was something on the interior that made the noise. Ten minutes of scratching my head later, I finally found the culprit – a piece of welding on one of the windows had broken, and the window was flapping open as we drove.
Sitting on the side of the road makes me nervous,
so I whipped out the quickest solution I could think of that I actually had on hand: industrial strength Velcro! And it worked, for about 20 minutes, ha. A few exits later, the window was back open again. Not wanting it to break (or worse, fly off and hit another car), I tried the next solution that, let’s be honest, should always be the first consideration: duct tape! Luckily, the gas station we stopped at had a small roll, and it was enough to hold the window closed until Redding.
I’d be lying if I said that I had the window fixed the second we got back. In fact, it’s still velcro-ed shut. But, the Velcro is holding and I work fulltime so….eventually. 🙂
After all the stops to fix the window and a search for Wifi so Andrew could turn in his 9-page paper (yes, nine pages on vacation, what fun!), we realized that the previously mapped-out route just wasn’t going to work. Turns out, when the map says it’s a six hour drive, in a trailer you can almost always count on it being 20% more than that, at least. Especially when you have a newbie driver who refuses to go faster than 55 mph!
The plan had been to spend a night and day in Mount Shasta, drive west and camp in Happy Camp (I still want to go back here, because is that not the cutest name for a town?!), and then the following day to finish the drive west to Crescent City and the Redwood National Forest. After all the delays we had experienced thus far, I knew that only a half day in Mount Shasta wouldn’t be enough, and with a drive through Humboldt Redwoods State Park already in the plans, my giant tree fix would still be fulfilled.
So once again, my precious itinerary took a hit, and I learned a little bit more about being flexible (however painful it was at the time to let go of my carefully thought out plan). So I said goodbye to Happy Camp and the Redwood National Forest in favor of a pretty little state campground in Castle Crags, south of the mountain. I wasn’t sure what to expect with a last-minute reservation, but the campground had plenty of availability and the ranger was nice as could be.
It was so exciting to get to a campground in daylight, and although it was still difficult to park, it wasn’t nearly the fiasco that it was in San Luis. One group of tenters had to watch us pull the trailer forward, and back, and forward, and back, and forward, and back for about 20 minutes, but we finally got it. And how beautiful is this spot?!
After parking and setting up, we went on the hunt for food. Luckily, Gerald* the ranger was still up and gave us some great hiking maps and tips on the area, as well as our fancy shower tokens. A midnight hike revealed absolutely no open food places, which wasn’t exactly surprising, but we did find the world’s biggest dandelion, so that’s cool.
Back to the trailer we went for a gourmet meal of top ramen and beef jerky by the light of a citronella candle and a 2am shower shared with huge moths and a black widow or two…yikes. I definitely learned my lesson about state park campground showers: cheap flip flops are your best friend!
Despite all that, being able to fall asleep under the trees, smelling the fresh air (the paint fumes had since dissipated) and knowing that we would wake up to have a whole extra day and night to spend here was an unbelievably relaxing feeling. With no concrete plans for the next day (I know, shocking!), I fell asleep utterly exhausted but happy as could be.
Waking up to this view was an indescribable feeling, and I finally got the sense of calm that I was hoping this process would bring. It would
soon go away, of course, for what would an adventure be without its mishaps? But for the moment, everything was absolutely perfect.
As you can see, I fashioned a nice cushion around the window lever to keep from clocking my head on it – don’t ask me how I figured that out. I need to find a more permanent solution for this, since I usually sleep with the windows open, so if any of you vintage camper owners have one, I’m all ears! By the way, the blanket in the photo is one of my absolute favorites, from a company called Sand Cloud. It’s currently sold out (bummer) but they have tons of awesome beach towels available, I own about six of those too – yes, it’s a problem. And no, they’re not paying me for this (I wish!) I just really love the company and what they stand for, so I wanted to give them a little shout.
I know these posts have been excruciatingly long, and I’d like to apologize, but I won’t – because this blog is as much for me and my own memories as anything. I don’t want to forget a single moment, even the ones where I’m jumping from corner to corner in a hot/cold shower to avoid anything with more than four legs! So, I hope you stick with me and the crazy stories – I promise, there’s so much more to come.
Rather than another quote (because I honestly didn’t have one in mind and I don’t want to force the issue) I’ll end with a silly cartoon I found by Boots McFarland: