The previous days I’ve written about in the Revival Tour were fraught with a frantic feeling that was nothing close to what I thought I would experience “traveling the world” in my little vintage camper. I was instantly overwhelmed – what on earth was I thinking? What possibly gave me the notion that I can do this?
But Day 5 turned it all around. It was one of those days that truly feels like a dream. It was by far my favorite day of the whole trip, and the beauty of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park is not something I’ll soon forget.
We had plans to sleep in after the harrowing adventures of Day Four, but the smell of campfires and crisp cool air welcomed us early in the morning. Feeling triumphant from the grilled cheese sandwiches from the night before, we tackled our second meal in the camper – pancakes!
The campground at Humboldt Redwoods State Park was absolutely amazing – we snagged one of the last spots in the Burlington Campground, right in the middle of the towering redwoods. There were trails around the park for walking through the trees, and those great big sinks with hot water for washing dishes – I mean really, is there anything better?! The sink in the camper is cute but it’s good for washing mugs and silverware only 😉
After breakfast, we took a walk through some of the trails surrounding the campground, and try as I might, I could not quite find words to explain the grandeur. These ethereal woods are so beautiful, and healing for the soul. If you get the chance to visit a redwood forest, any redwood forest, absolutely do it!
After visiting the Avenue of the Giants, local gift shops and tourist traps and stretching our visit as long as possible, we finally bid a very sad farewell to the stately trees, and slowly climbed out of the treetops, Stevie in tow of course, and drove west. Although I had read the warnings and heard of the inconvenience of driving to the Lost Coast, it was an absolutely MUST on our list, and we weren’t missing it. Seeing that the drive was only 34 miles, we thought it was an easy-peasy piece of cake.
By now, you must be sensing the theme that we literally had no idea what we were doing this entire trip, and the drive to Shelter Cove was no exception! The rookie mistake on this leg of the trip was not fully zooming in on the route. Helloooooo, switchbacks. Each one of those tiny turns was an 8-mph, riding the brakes, white-knuckled heart attack.
I was actually amazed at how well both the Jeep and the trailer held up, seeing as I was either riding the brakes straight down or chug-chug-chugging straight uphill. Anxiety was at an all-time high, because I could see just how easy it would be to take a corner just too fast and go over one of those sheer cliffs. The chronic landslides that were plaguing California over the summer left us stuck in several traffic jams while the road was closed one way. More than once, we stopped on a downhill for 10-20 minutes while traffic on the opposite side passed.
Finally, after about 3 hours and with sunset fast-approaching, we started to round the last few hairpin turns into Shelter Cove. And once we arrived, the smell of the ocean and heavy sea air immediately calmed all of my nerves. We settled into our parking spot and made fast friends with our neighbor, who offered us a ride in the back of his truck to go fishing…sounds legit, right? *wink
But after gearing up and climbing over the rocks looking for a good spot, and between the wind and waves, it was pretty clear that there would be no fishing done this evening. So instead we strapped on our boots and went for a short hike along the coast to watch the sunset. The Lost Coast is a small slice of heaven. One day I would love to return and backpack the entire stretch (25 miles).
Looking back on these pictures (almost a year ago now! – just give me the worst blogger ever award now) gives me such nostalgia for traveling this coast. The cliffs, the rolling sea, the tall grass waving in the wind, and only a little way inland, some of the tallest trees in the country – the Northern California coast is truly a magical place.
Next up: a photo diary of the rest of the trip! Too many photos, so little time.
In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. – John Muir