Last week, I decided to extend my 4th of July holiday into a 5 day weekend. I needed some kind of summer vacation and the 4th being on a Wednesday wouldn't let that happen without using some extra days off.
With 5 days open, I had lots of options on what to do and where to go. Serious choices ranged from figuring out a way to get down to Baja to camping and drinking some German beer up in Leavenworth. When it came time to make the decision, I decided to go down the coast to the Redwood Forest in Northern California with my girlfriend Analisa and another friend of ours, Megan. I figured it would be a great way to get in some camping, fishing, surfing, and exploring. Here are some photos and words from the journey.
Vacation began the minute I finished work on July 3rd. I walked home from work and began packing up some cameras, clothes, fishing gear, and surfboards. A massive trip to the grocery store with my fellow travelers followed, and we were well stocked up and ready to go the next morning. We got sausage, S'more stuff, sandwich fixins, beer, veggies, eggs, bacon, potatoes, chips and dip, trail mix, beer, wine, oranges, grapes, a watermelon, etc etc etc. This was not a backpacking trip by any means. By the time the car was packed, it was about as full as possible. It was clear that it wasn't going to be the most comfortable/organized trip, but luckily we are all patient and can go with the flow despite being cramped.
Our first stop was the river on the way to the coast. We dug through our bags to find bathing suits and we headed down to the water to get some sun. I was hoping to catch a fish, but I had no luck that day. We did find plenty of tadpoles and a pair of awesome little rough skinned newt's in a little pool of water, though. The newts are very enchanting little animals, and they seem quite wise. I'm sure their species have been around this area for many thousands of years, and they know the river well. They actually have extremely strong toxins in their skin that can kill a man. So, if you come across one of these guys, be sure not to eat them. They're safe to touch, but not ingest. We also saw a bald eagle, which seemed fitting on the 4th of July. I'm sure that they've learned by now not to eat the newts...
After floating down the bone-chillingly cold river (way colder than the water at the coast) a couple times, we drove the rest of the way to Pacific City hoping to find some surf. Instead, we found tiny choppy waves that didn't look appealing at all. No worries, though, because we had the whole trip ahead of us, including almost the entire coast of Oregon. We could still enjoy a night of camping. hanging out with some friends, and watching the best amateur firework display I've ever seen. We crawled up onto the roof for the best view, then headed back to the rabbit infested Webb County Campground for a good nights' sleep. We would start to head south the next day.
I'll post more on that part of the trip soon.