Monday, July 1, 2013

Road Trip: Redwoods to (almost) Yosemite

  Date        Stop   Odometer    Location                                         Time

6/15/20130209267Leaving FKCP, CA7:35 AM
6/15/20131209289Klamath River Overlook, CA8:39 AM
6/15/20132209330Trinidad Rest Stop10:00 AM
6/15/20133209431Weaverville12:30 PM
6/15/20134209491Redding, CA2:58 PM
6/15/20135209703Caswell State Park, CA7:30 PM

From Cory's travel journal (revised)

10:00AM- Got up early this morning.  It was misty and chilly but not wet which was nice.  We cooked oatmeal and made coffee with the funnel and loose grounds- it turned out great!  We were on the misty road by 7:30, pretty good time for breaking camp AND having a hot breakfast.

Sara sits at the picnic table planning a route on a road atlas at Florence Keller County Park, California
Sara plots the course

Cory washes a black pot in foil pans on the picnic table at Florence Keller County Park, California
Doing the breakfast dishes in the redwoods

A large banana slug slides on a small branch at Florence Keller County Park, California
One more banana slug at the campsite

Follow the jump for the rest of the post.  More photos!

We drove through the scenic parkway but not before stopping to see the seals at Anchor Bay.  They were laying on docks, barking and swimming in the bay.  We tried to see some whales, but it was out of season and we didn't see any.  Oh well.  We continued on to the scenic road through the redwoods.  We got pictures of a corkscrew tree and saw some wild elk from the road.

An adult seal rests on a dock at Anchor Bay, California
...a seal

Adult seal and a number of pups laying on a dock at Anchor Bay, California
...some seals

A corkscrew redwood tree at Jedediah Smith State Park, California
Frog admiring the corkscrew tree

A footbridge crosses a stream in the redwoods at Jedediah Smith State Park, California
The scenes of Endor and the Ewoks from
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi were filmed here.

2:58PM-  We finally made it to I-5.  Getting over the mountains was very slow going, just like Montana.  The car does better climbing at lower elevations where there is a little bit of oxygen in the air.  We also hit a LONG construction delay on a winding mountain road.  At Redding, CA, we stopped at Wal-Mart to buy a new air mattress and a non-breakable mug to replace one that had cracked.  We had just arrived at the car when our other mug fell out of the car and smashed on the ground... drat!

We sopped in Lodi, CA looking to set up the tent.  One RV campground said, "No tents!"  We tried a KOA Kampsite down the road, who wanted $78 for a single tent site.  What!?  That's more than all the hotels in town!  They were almost sold out, too.  I can't believe that many suckers campers chose that place.  We left Lodi in the dust and headed down past Stockton, CA to Manteca, CA.  We saw a State Park on our road atlas map, so we went for it.  

We drove through 3 miles of almond groves to get to the park.  When we got there, a sign announced, "CAMPGROUND FULL" at the entrance station.  We pulled in and asked the attendant if we could just turn around without paying the park entrance fee ($10 just to get in!) He seemed to be weighing a tough decision as he stammered a little bit, then asked if we were from out of town.  When we answered in the affirmative, he hesitantly said, "Ok, I'll sell you a site, one of the sites we like to keep as 'buffer sites.'"  I don't know what a buffer site is, but we were happy to get a place to spend the night.

Bowls of rice and tomatoes for supper at Casswell State Park, California
This is what soup looks like when you add too much rice

Slices of SPAM cook on a grate over the charcoal chimney at Casswell State Park, California
Grillin' SPAM on the charcoal chimney

Sara sits with computer at the picnic table at Casswell State Park, California
Updating the journal over supper

We set up camp and made soup successfully!  We tried the same recipe as the soup disaster from Glacier minus the super spicy seasonings.  I added a little too much rice, so it was more of a rice dish with vegetables.  I also grilled the can of SPAM we had with us, just to get rid of it.  It got dark a lot earlier than in Montana, just after 9:00PM.  The campground bathrooms were ok but severely vandalized.  Who would vandalize a campground bathroom?  People are already living without common comforts, so why deprive yourself and others?  We have a saying that we picked up from the movie Die Hard when John McLean, fresh off the streets of New York sees the LA extravagance exclaims, "F---in' CaliFORNIA!" It has been our motto whenever we get annoyed by anything in this state.  We've used it for traffic, weather, road conditions, pollution, and everything else.  It really helps take the edge off. 

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