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USA – Road Trip – Arcata – 27th / 28th September

After another night in the cozy shed we showered and had breakfast in the usual fashion. We advised Janine regarding some website tips and ways of saving money by doing a website yourself rather than an expensive template etc. Helen offered to take some photos for the new website / promo materials so we headed out into the woods with a homemade reflector and did a spot of photography which was great fun.

After all the excitement in the woods we Skyped home to the Roscoe household and then headed out into the town for a look around during the day. It’s a great little town and worthy of a visit for a day or so. It felt as if it had lost some of it’s hippy charm, but enough has remained to be enchanting enough with coffee shops and yoga rooms aplenty.

There is a nice Yoga place which we visited called the Om Shala Yoga centre which has a sauna, showers and a nice room to take a class. We took advantage of all three. Another recommendation is the Three Foods Cafe which did have a 20 minute wait for a table as it was very busy. The food is a little pricey for the budget conscious traveller but the food is interesting and pretty tasty. The “hurts so good.” (Korean style grass fed sirloin and veggies served over a bed of coconut milk rice, topped with frizzled leaks and a side of fresh kimchi) at $14 was very tasty, only downside was the rice lacked coconut flavor.

There was some confusion over the menu as we were not sure what Linguiça was. (“Satchmo.” Spicy linguica, sweet prawns and green beans over cheesy grits, drizzled with a cajun butter sauce $14) We should have inquired when someone is pescatarian but failed to do so and ended up with a spicy sausage (think Chorizo). Oops. They were kind enough to swap it over for extra veggies instead of the sausage, but Helen didn’t enjoy hers as much as everyone else the whole meal was just too sweet.

American cuisine is moving with the times and embracing other worldly foods, from our experience here though they just haven’t cracked it yet… for our taste-buds anyway!

The following day Janine invited both of us to join a small yoga class with her and two others at her house before breakfast at 7.30am. It was a really nice start to the day and after breakfast we packed up and headed south, back in the car for the first time in two days!

Todays destination was the Lost Coast and to find a lovely campsite somewhere. We’ve been using AAA guide camp books thanks to Helen’s Aunt Jill so we’ve never really struggled to find a decent site. We do often pass by privately owned RV sites too which can sometimes be an alternative. So back to the Lost Coast! We started the drive from Ferndale which is a town that looks pretty much as it did in the late 1800′s, it was a pretty sleepy place when we passed through and we weren’t too impressed by our grocery bill! From Ferndale there is a road that takes you upwards and through some more forest areas eventually coming out in ranch territory at Petrolia. It’s an 80 mile stretch of rugged shoreline, sometimes in the fog, sometimes with clear views. There are epic hiking trails along this part of the coastline too, and the towns are more like Hamlets, often with a mild stench of Marijuana lingering in the air. We took the route through Honeydew and then into the Humboldt Redwood Park, getting further along the Lost Coast at this point requires a four wheel drive.

The drive took a couple of hours as we stopped a few times to photograph but we didn’t really encounter that many cars until we came into the Redwood Forest. The Humboldt  Forest is supposed to be the most impressive of the Redwood areas in Northern California. We came into The Big Tree area located after Albee Campground and walked through some of the tallest and widest trees in the world. It was a little like being in a giant children’s playground. Further into the park is The Avenue of the Giants, which is a good drive and again you can stop off along the way to stare in awe at these massive trees, some of which stand at around 370ft and 26ft in diameter. This is definitely the route to take rather than the 101.

We decided to continue driving further and eventually set up camp in The Richardson Grove State Park, having seen that some of the earlier parks were closed (this is currently a problem in California). The park wasn’t great to be honest but other campers were setting up and there were toilets and wash facilities. We noticed that camping in California was considerably more than the Washington and Oregon equivalents. We camped among more redwoods for the night.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

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