Three 4 The Road and a dog – Gold Beach, Oregon
We arrived at our next home away from home, the Honeybear RV Resort on October 15th. Once again we were greeted by friendly, helpful folks who guided us to our space and gave us information about the area. The park sits on a hill overlooking the ocean and we could hear the crashing waves from our campsite.
We took a walk to the beach our first evening in Gold Beach. It was a short distance, but required us to cross over Hwy 101, which can be a bit precarious. The powerful Gold Beach surf was amazing to watch.
Banjo was a little reluctant to play in such roaring surf and gave an enthusiastic warning bark when we got too close to the water.
Sunsets over Gold Beach were stunning! A cell phone camera just can’t capture the beauty we saw.
While we’re traveling we like to support small businesses by checking out local book stores in the towns we visit. Gold Beach is home to the largest book store on the Oregon Coast, Gold Beach Books. After enjoying a latte and molasses cookie at the in-store shop Rachel’s Café, we perused the two floors with aisles and aisles of books. Ava even spotted Elvis in the store and had to get a photo!
No one knows what changes big or small lie ahead. One thing is certain; our journey’s not over. We can only hope that in some small way, our time here will be remembered.
A short distance from our RV resort, along Hwy 101 we found The Prehistoric Gardens. This family-friendly attraction has offered self-guided tours through an ancient Oregon Rainforest since 1955. We had a lot of fun traveling back in time to discover life-size dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures!
We felt pretty small against a backdrop of huge Redwood trees and prehistoric reptiles as we wandered through acres of old growth forest!
Ava even befriended a mermaid outside the park!
Before we left, I hid a Halloween rock for another tourist to find and enjoy.
We would definitely recommend The Prehistoric Gardens if you happen to be traveling along Oregon’s coastline. It’s educational and fun, and if you visit in early fall as we did, you will likely enjoy beautiful weather and no crowds!
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
The next stop on our journey was down a winding, forested road called “The Avenue of Giants”, into the California Redwood National Forest. Redwood National and State Parks protect old growth coast Redwoods and are home to some of the world’s tallest trees.
On the way to our campsite we stopped by a popular roadside attraction in Klamath, California; the Trees of Mystery.
We had Banjo with us so we only visited the attractions outside the main gate.
If you stop at the Trees of Mystery, you HAVE to get a photo of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Big Blue Ox!
We even found a giant bear who was more than happy to accommodate our photo request!
We stayed two nights at the Ancient Redwoods RV Park, right along the Avenue of Giants. The campground had few other visitors in late October and we saw few cars on our daily scenic drives.
We decided to take a short hike through Founder’s Grove Trail Loop, named after the founders of the Save the Redwoods League. First things first; BEAR SPRAY. Hiking through the Redwoods we were surrounded by FOREST. What lives in the forest? BEARS! Did we actually see any bears? No. The trails are heavily traveled with people and their dogs and I imagine most creatures of the forest find their homes deeper in the woods, protected from the road, but it’s good to err on the side of caution.
We were fascinated by the size of the mighty Redwoods everywhere we looked.
Some had burned out centers but they still stood tall; alive and strong in spite of the trauma that befell them.
I was so impressed with the resilience of this tree with a burned out center that I just had to give it a hug!
Everywhere we went, we were in awe of the beauty of nature all around us. Even trees that had succumbed to wind, drought, and age were beautiful where they landed.
We walked the loop, enjoying our time together in the quiet of the forest. We never did stumble into Big Foot, so Ava and Mark decided to do their best Big Foot impression.
Our time at the Redwood Forest was brief but we saw a lot of beauty in the time we were there.
Ava even found a cool car! I’ll bet no one at home has a sweet tree trunk ride!
For our last two nights this week, we stayed in Point Reyes California, a prominent cape on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Our time there was limited so we weren’t able to venture out to the Point Reyes National Seashore, but we did explore the small town with it’s galleries, shops, and great farmer’s market. We discovered a fantastic place called Bovine Bakery with French pastries baked fresh daily. The smell of warm croissants brought people off the street and there was a line of folks each morning waiting for a sweet treat!
It’s an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be in San Francisco. It must be a delightful city and possess all the attractions of the next world.
Our final excursion this week was a day trip to San Francisco. The only day we had available to see the city was Saturday so we set out with a positive attitude, knowing that there would likely be a lot of other tourists doing the very same thing!
Ava and I are big fans of musician and San Francisco resident, Matt Nathanson. One of his songs refers to several places in San Francisco so naturally we wanted to scout out as many places as we could and get some fangirl photos! Unfortunately, we weren’t prepared for the lack of parking everywhere we wanted to go. We drove by places like Crissy Field, 9th & Irving, and the Castro District but were unable to get photos. We’ll have to rely on our memories instead!
One MUST SEE was the row of houses used in the opening credits of the television show, Full House. We’ve watched this show in our home since it began and now we’re fans of the spinoff, Fuller House, so we had to stop by.
The home and houses surrounding it are private residences so we were respectful of the space and just hopped out for a quick photo.
The iconic “Full House” house is being renovated so it is surrounded by a fence but we were able to get close enough to snap a quick pic. Mark was double parked (darn that San Francisco traffic) so a nice couple took our photo and we did the same for them.
We drove by the “Painted Ladies”, another group of houses used in the opening scene of Full House. This spot along San Francisco’s Alamo Row is one of the most photographed locations in the city.
For lunch we dined at Split American Food Kitchen on Polk Street. What a treat! The food was delicious and we were seated at a table by the window so we could people watch while we ate.
Mark had the American Burger, and Ava and I each had the Sonoma Sandwich. Everything was tasty!
After lunch we stopped by a charming resale shop called ReLove that carries vintage, designer, and contemporary clothing, shoes, and accessories. Mark usually stays outside when we wander into such a boutique but he was surprised to find many things that appealed to him. He even ended up finding a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses for an incredible price!
Ava was delighted to find a gorgeous dress that she can wear for Homecoming next year! I promised not to post a photo, but it is beautiful! And bonus, when people ask where she got her Homecoming dress she can respond, “At a darling vintage store in San Francisco”!
Down the street from ReLove we found a home furnishing store, and though we’re not in the market for furniture right now we just had to stop in and meet the shop dog!
The poor sweetie had lost use of her hind legs so she spends her days laying on a rug and greeting customers as they come through the door.
We had heard that when in San Francisco you have to visit Lombard Street, which is famous for a steep, one-block section with eight hairpin turns! We were in our one ton pick up truck so we decided not to try driving down that street but it looks like a lot of fun!
As the day wound down (no pun intended) and traffic was getting even heavier, we decided to head back to the campsite. We only scratched the surface of all the things we wanted to see this week so we will definitely come back! Word of caution, if you want to visit Alcatraz, you MUST make reservations several days to a week in advance. We didn’t know this so we’ll be adding that to our “must see” list the next time we visit.
Next week; San Benito County California!