Drifting through the American West

Categories National Parks/Monuments, Road Trips
Redwoods

Endless road stretching out to the horizon; we had no set direction and no place to be. We drifted to find new places, and at the same time, to find nothing at all. If I have ever felt a true feeling of freedom, with no restraints and a genuine opportunity to simply explore, it was on this road trip. Over the course of three weeks, we traveled over 5,000 miles. We zig zagged through mountains and wandered through deserts. Some of the terrain was familiar, but a lot of the territory was unknown. It’s only by road that you will see the greatest little things.

In between jobs, we set out to find a place to be, somewhere that struck a cord. We left Boise with a fully packed car; camping equipment, food and the necessities. We drove to Medford, OR and spent the night before heading down to the coastal redwoods. We set up camp at Golds Bluffs Beach Campground right on the ocean and watched as the sun dropped to the horizon. It was a perfect day. Although I had been to the campground long before – it was a whole new experience, a different time in life, viewing it through new lenses. The day was complete with locking the keys in the trunk of the car, accidentally of course, no cell service, and the crackling of the campfire late into the night.  

California

California

Beach

Beach

Redwoods

Sunset

The next day, the early morning sun crested over the sandy colored bluffs and streamed through the trees. We walked to a nearby campsite to borrow a phone with power and called roadside assistance. An hour or so later, a man in a tow truck came bobbing down the pot hole dirt road to help us out. After a few attempts, we finally maneuvered the door open enough to unlock the trunk. It was a challenge to say the least. We then bid farewell to our trusty savior and hit the road down the Pacific Coast. We opted to spend a night in Santa Rosa outside of the Napa Valley to indulge in some wine tasting the next day.

Campground

Beach

Beach

Redwoods

What followed was pure bliss – lamb stuffed flatbread at Jackson’s Bar and Oven, hot tubbing at the Hyatt (Hotwire is your best friend on any last-minute road trip), bright sun and endless delights at each winery we stopped at. From castles to estates, the Napa Valley never fails to impress. The valley is truly one of my all time happy places and just what I needed.

Napa

Napa, California

We then stopped at La Strada, a roadside Italian restaurant while driving towards American Canyon. We drove on to San Francisco and walked the Golden Gate Bridge right as the day ended. We explored the wharf and then headed to a hotel for the night outside the city. The trip was off to a great start….

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

California

California

Next stretch: Highway 1 through Big Sur to Santa Barbara. 

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