Seattle to San Diego and a couple of national parks in between!!

So, after all the snow and rain we have been through the last couple of weeks, we were now on the way south to warmer weather and hopes of catching up with some of the friends we had made at the start of this trip. We left Seattle in the morning and planned to head along the coast as much as we could.

Maritime museum

We stopped at the Billy Frank Jr Nisqually Wildlife Refuge and went for a walk around the trails. It was nice and quiet with only a few people, there were some good displays in the visitor centre that the kids really enjoyed. After a few more hours of driving we stopped at the Columbia River Maritime Museum for a break. This place was great, learning about the legendary Columbia River Bar with the challenges it brought the shipping industry and the coast guard. Lilly and Kobe also got to make some rope using the old manual hand turning method, I use the term Lilly and Kobe loosely as it was more like Dee and I, as they got tired after the first few seconds 😊. We ended up staying in Tillamook a small town we would later find out made some of the best Ice cream we have tasted on the trip.

Crazy sunset

The next morning after another hotel breakfast we headed south. We spent the day cruising the coast stopping at all the view points along the way. We watched whales from Lighthouses, checked out the Devils Punch Bowl a collapsed sea cave and admired Face Rock. The North-West Coast is really beautiful, and we loved slowly making our way down checking everything out. As it rained all day again it we couldn’t get the drone up to take some shots of this awesome coast line.

Devil’s punchbowl
Face rock

We stayed the night near the Redwoods forest in Crescent City so that we could head there first thing in the morning. We drove along the 31-mile section of the old Highway 101 called the Avenue of the Giants. It was awesome driving through the forest where the trees impeded out onto the road to where I would have to swerve to avoid knocking the mirror off the car. We stopped at the Humboldt visitor centre and walked around the museum before taking a hike through the forest. Even though it was raining we had a wonderful time, Lilly and Kobe loved running around climbing and hiding behind the trees. It’s quite amazing just how big and old these trees are.

Big tree

We decided to try and see Yosemite Park, so we headed across past Sacramento and Stockton to stay the night in Modesto, which would turn out to be fairly exciting. We arrived late so headed to the first Hotel which happened to be a Motel 6 on a bend of a fast corner. We had just jumped into bed before hearing a screech and then a loud “bang”. A young driver had tried to take the corner too fast and smashed into the large rocks out front of the motel. The police were quickly on the scene with lights flashing when another driver came around the corner and smashed in to police car!! It was quite entertaining watching the police officer yelling at the driver and him repeating that I didn’t see you even with all those lights flashing.

excitement outside our room

We headed towards Yosemite National Park, which took us through a lot of winding roads and up and down hills. This proved to be too much for Kobe’s stomach as he vomited everywhere outside the gas station door in Mariposa. We arrived at around 11am and were a little overwhelmed on just how fantastic this place is. We went on a little hike up along the Happy Isles before heading to the village for lunch, watched a documentary and then walking to the falls. Along the way Deer were just laying in the grass, not fazed by us walking by. At about 4pm we decided we should think about heading to Fresno where we had planned on staying for the night. The way out took us past the Glacier Point turn off, we decided right then we would take the 30 min drive up to the view. We arrived, and the view was amazing!!! It was over 7000 ft, so it was a bit fresh up there, so we didn’t hang around too long.

Yosemite
Tunnel view of Yosemite

The drive down was exciting as the sun goes down at around 5pm so we were driving down through the winding roads in complete darkness, not what we had initially planned but were glad we made the stop. We stayed the night in Fresno before making our way down to San Diego for some full-on training. In 4 days we had driven the complete West Coast, seen 2 National parks and countless views and land marks. We were a little tired and happy to back in San Diego where we could wind back and prepare our own meals. The next Week was going to be epic!!!

-Woody

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