Between 2016 and 2019, I traveled to the west coast for work at least once a year, and on all but my first trip (for orientation, which I didn't arrange,) I did my best to sneak in a bit of work-adjacent travel time. Seattle could be a nice launch point for car-less journeys, with its rail connections to Vancouver and Portland and nearby ferry connections to a variety of islands.
But in July of 2019, I actually rented a car. This was rare for me, and was quite easily the longest stretch of solo driving I had done after literal years of barely any car operation.
I had a Kia Rio, and I had a destination: Olympic National Park.
Well, at least that's the plan I eventually decided on...
I planned to get up early, catch the sunrise, and snap some pictures. (Oh, lord, what have I become!? Someone who does that!?)
I set an alarm for 6:30 AM. After lying in my sleeping bag, feeling the vibration of my phone and low volume beeping, I decided to stick with my plan and actually get out of bed.
One of the easiest ways that I've found to get myself out of a tent when I'd rather snooze is to open the deflate valve on the air mattress beneath me. When air rushes out, and soft comfort is replaced by cold, hard ground, it's easier to actually emerge into the light.
So, I did that. But an unpleasant surprise awaited me.
I walked to my car, electronic key in hand, and it did not open...
Given the amount of mileage I had hiked over the past two days, I was pretty beat.
My original plan was to spend the night just across the border into Oregon, but my original Airbnb booking cancelled on me. (No surprise given my track record with Airbnb.)
This meant that I was instead heading to a campground further north, and this decision also motivated my lack of a breather before starting out on one last Redwood Hike.
(Okay, okay, I did stop for a burger and peanut butter milkshake first, but that hardly restored my sappedstamina from the past two days.)
My location: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, just east of Crescent City. And gosh, was it worth a visit!
It was home to some of the most idyllic sections of forest, where golden rays of light just hung in the air, between the big trees.
Despite taking in a lot of beauty, and taking my all-time favorite forest photos (so far) I also managed to miss the area's two star attractions: the boy scout tree itself, and the waterfall at the end of the trail.
The trail (not unlike myself) was worn, and I turned back early and skipped an all important unmarked side trail. (Alas!)
Feeling hemmed in by the double whammy of January gloom and Omicron woes, I couldn't shake the indescribable urge to get out of town.
Naturally, I had ordered tourism brochures from some of Washington State's neighbors, becoming fixated on catching some sea and sunshine. Though, perhaps, I wasn't absolutely hellbent on the sunshine, because I did start imagining Northern California and the Oregon Coast as my location, places likely to be as foggy and wet as my home base.
When I realized Martin Luther King Jr. Day (re: a paid day off at my current job, and not my last one) was coming up, I thought, how better to celebrate the achievements of one of America's greatest Civil Rights Leaders than to go on vacation...
And by vacation, I meant, mostly workcation, obvi.
This, then, is the inaugural post in a "series" covering this road trip. Since it wasn't super long and since Steve was working, there can't be that much to cover, right?
Surely Steve sticks within their limits, right?
Well, the text-to-image ratio is probably going to be skewed in favor of "images," but I still managed to be out of town for a nice 9-ish days. Which means you can probably expect 9ish posts, unless I feel weirdly compelled to write one on the mating habits of sea lions. (Not happening!)
So, please, buckle in and enjoy the ride.
Enjoy my triumphs and tribulations, my feeble attempts to capture the overwhelmingly lovely natural beauty that surrounded me and occasionally rendered itself visible through the thick fog.