Brie & Jesse’s California AdVentura – Part 1: BC to CA

Tuesday, September 8

Jesse and I left for our honeymoon road trip adventure around noon – a little later than we had hoped. We crossed the border and grabbed lunch at a nearby Subway. Jesse wanted to get CDs so our next stop was Best Buy where we picked out Hozier, Sam Smith, Mumford & Sons, Beck, and a 90s pop hits CD. I googled Trader Joes, which I had heard so many good things about, and there was one around the corner. It was amazing! We stocked up on so much delicious food. Jesse had picked out the campground we would stay at that night in Silver Falls State Park, OR, so we powered through Washington. Seattle traffic was terrible!

We took the I5 as far as we could then turned off onto more rural roads. Our late departure meant we were arriving late. Jesse noticed we were low on gas but no nearby gas stations were open. We continued on hoping that we had enough gas to make it back! After winding through farmland and up into the park, we reached the campground and found an empty spot to set up in the dark. The campground was really well maintained and had nice facilities including flush toilets and showers. We ate some food and went to sleep in our tent soon after.

Wednesday, September 9

In the morning, we got to see Silver Falls State Park in the daylight and it was beautiful. Unfortunately, we wanted to hit the road so we didn’t go see the falls. We made breakfast, showered, and packed everything up again and were on our way. We drove by many Christmas tree farms and picturesque countryside. We hit the I5 for a bit and then cut over to Route 101 on the coast. Once we reach the ocean, we made a quick stop at Port Orford to check out the breathtaking views and enjoy the crisp wind. We kept driving down the coast while I googled campgrounds to stay at in the Redwoods parks. I found one with amazing reviews just across the border into California called Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

Jesse and I arrived at the campground and were disappointed to find that it was super full – only one disabled spot remained. It was a little confusing so we took a second lap around to see if we had missed any spots. We came across the campground host and asked him about the disabled spot and he said we could use it. It was late in the day and he didn’t think it was likely that anyone would show up that needed it. He did warn us that we may have to move but we took our chances! We were SO happy! We did not want to have to drive around more campgrounds looking for spots, plus this one was PERFECT.

We set up camp in daylight this time and made dinner. On my way to the washroom building to brush my teeth I saw something moving in the dark. I shone my headlamp over at it and saw a big frog (or toad?). Either way it was pretty cool.

Thursday, September 10

In the morning we went for a short walk on the trails. We checked out some of the giant redwoods and read some informational signage. This was my favourite campground of the trip and I would definitely stay there again. It was so beautiful – I wish we’d had more time to explore!

We packed up and hit the road again, driving along Route 101 & 1. It was a long day of driving and we saw so much! We stopped at a beach in Orick, drove down the Avenue of the Giants, and winded around the coastal highway while fog rolled in. I drove for a while and came around a corner to find a cow leisurely crossing the road to eat a little grass. He realized something was up and headed back where he came and I was able to pass.

I had googled a campground that looked like it had lots of campsite. We reached it around 10 or 11pm, but something was wrong. There were only a handful of sites and there was a sign saying it was full! Apparently I had been looking at a campground by the same name but in a totally different location. It was cold and the air was filled with a damp mist from the ocean. We decided to keep driving and try to find a hotel to stay the night.

I ended up Hotwiring a really nice hotel in San Francisco for a reasonable price but when we arrived I found it it was an extra $50 USD for parking!!! Are you kidding me!?!? We were so tired though and didn’t really have an option so we paid it. They gave us a room near the top of the building and gave us a late check out at least.

We slept in luxury that night and woke up late the next morning.

Friday, September 11

My eyes opened to whiteness in the morning and I was so confused. I was looking out the window – but there was nothing there but emptiness. I was tripping out for a moment then realized the fog was so heavy that I literately couldn’t see anything. The fog, which we found out San Francisco is known for, eventually cleared to reveal a great view. We had driven across the Golden Gate Bridge during the night, in heavy fog, so I was hoping we would be able to see it from our room but unfortunately we were facing the wrong direction.

On our way out of the city we were starving. We stopped at a Panera Breads, which I had randomly found nearby on Google maps. It was amazing – fresh, substantial food that was fast as well! We shared a veggie sandwich and a squash soup and bought a french baguette for later. I was navigating us to the coastal highway when I noticed we could easily make a quick detour to Cupertino, Apple’s headquarters. We did a lap around Infinite Loop, like a total stalker, and continued on our way.

Later we stopped at a beach known for elephant seals. There was a parking lot and viewpoint overlooking a massive amount of them just hanging out by the water. Some were snuggled up in groups and others were playing and/or fighting? They looked so cuddly I wanted to climb down there and join them, but I’m pretty sure that’s frowned upon … also I think they could swallow me whole if they felt so inclined.

I Hotwired another hotel for the few nights we stayed in Ventura. They don’t tell you the exact hotel until after you book it. We ended up at the Crowne Plaza, which is beach front and just steps from the expo and the start/finish line of the race. It was an older hotel – clean but not super fancy decor-wise. It had some great amenities including a beachfront pool and patio. We got arrived in the evening and checked in, parked our car, and finally got to relax a bit!


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