Saturday, March 25, 2017

California Coast

I am writing this on March 25, but I will describe the events of March 12. We have moved again to the desert near Mojave, California. We are on our way to Death Valley National Park. We found a great boondocking park out in the desert with good cell signal. It is very windy and I hate to drive in the wind, so we will just hang out here for a few days. My goal will be to catch up some on the blog.

March 12 was the first full day that Shannon, Brian and Amelia were with us. We spent the previous day in the city of San Francisco and did plan to go back, but wanted a different experience. We decided to go through San Jose and then pick up highway 9 to a little town called Ben Lomond. That was a place I had been before and remembered correctly that it is a beautiful area filled with large coastal Redwood trees. We then turned on a very steep and windy road that ultimately took us to the coast. The goal was to see some more large redwood trees. We decided to enter Butano State Park and see if we could take a hike. We had read that they have a nice grove of Redwoods.
When we arrived we could see some evidence of the storm of the previous week. Many of the trails were wet, but we put Amelia in her backpack and headed out.

Here is a shot of Brian and Amelia in front of a large Redwood. 
We walked for a while and all were enjoying the nice day and the beautiful trees. In all of our travels, Kim and I have developed a love of old growth forests.

We walked up a steep hill to the campground. It is a nice campground in the forest, but would not work for anything but a small RV or tent. We looked at the map and saw that we could make a loop out of our walk. We all know how much I hate to backtrack. We had to walk down a steep hill to get to the end of the creek trail that would complete our loop. When we got to the creek, there were trees down and the trail was blocked. We found a path through but it was not easy. Our only option was to turn around and go back up the hill. We all knew that was no going to happen. We were very careful with Amelia and made it trough. That was just the first of many obstacles we would face on that trail. We had to go over and under many logs and branches, but we made it and we also made some memories along the way.

Here is a shot of Kim crossing the creek in a place that a bridge had been washed out. OK, I was waiting to catch her falling in, but she made it.

It was a beautiful trail and a fun experience.

We next headed to a lighthouse. Brian and Shannon were introduced to the beauty of coastal lighthouses in their visit to Oregon with us in 2015. This one is kind of run down and is trying to find the funds for renovation, but it is still beautiful.

Lots of lighthouse and coastal shots to follow:

We then decided to take a walk on the beach further up the coast. Amelia loves the beach.

There were actually some kids swimming in that water. It was cold!

We were hungry so we decided to find a place for dinner. We ended up going to an Italian place in Half Moon Bay that had expensive food, but not very good. Oh well, the service was good and we had a good time. We then faced the Sunday traffic leaving the beach and headed over the San Mateo bridge. There was a beautiful full moon over the bay, but my camera was not able to capture it.

That wraps up day 2 of our time with the kids. The next day, we went back to San Francisco. I will write about that fun day in my next entry.


  1. We love the ocean but haven't been in that part of California. It looks beautiful.

    1. All of the west coast is awesome, this is the first time we have been to that part. Thanks for stopping by Lorne.

  2. I am in awe every time we see one of those huge redwoods or drive along the coast. Just think of the history those huge trees have lived through.

    1. Those trees on the California coast are huge by any standard, but wait until you see the pictures of Sequoia. We went to Sequoia NP on Friday. Blew my mind.