I have always enjoyed camping, but I must admit something… in most of my camping experiences I have been with people who are experienced campers. This was not the case when my friend Lisa and I decided to do a camping trip in Northern California staying at Albee Creek in Humboldt Redwoods State Park (228 miles north of San Francisco). We had a reservation for our space, a tent, some snacks, and plenty of clothes. I seriously did not know that you need more to camp. Additionally I did not know how to make a fire- but that was my last thought or worry.
We stopped for gas as we drove further away from “civilization”. That’s when we saw overpriced firewood and thought to buy some. We made our way to Avenue of the Giants- and our campsite- which was 5 miles off of this road. Driving, driving, driving we eventually made our way there. Then we set up the tent. Somehow the fire was made.
There was one thing missing. FOOD. Oops! Luckily our campsite was next to a nice family who had lots of food and invited us to eat with them. The next day we hiked around the area and enjoyed the creek. Not being able to ask to eat dinner again with our neighbors (they left after our first night) we made the 28 mile drive to Fortuna for Taco Bell. We picked up some food at the grocery as well.
I love the Redwoods. They are gigantic. They are beautiful. We did some major driving on this trip as well. There is so much to explore including the silly roadside attractions with many themes all related to the Redwoods which surrounded us. My favorite attraction was the giant sequoia drive-thru tree- yes, the tree was so large that you could drive your car through it.
By far my favorite moment of our camping adventure was driving on California’s Lost Coast. We started in the woods and after many twists and turns ultimately came out to the naked Pacific Coast so different then the same Pacific Coast that I live minutes from. What I saw was surfers, cows and fog. Yes, there were quite a few cows just across the street from us as we drove along the coast. It was amazingly peaceful here. After being next to the coast our drive took us inland and we visited the quaint town of Ferndale which is known for its’ Victorian style homes.
On our trip we also visited: Sonoma (for wine tasting), Mendocino, Arcata, Trinidad and Eureka. I love this part of California – you are really a part of nature- the trees are nothing less than amazing. But brace yourself- you will see many hitchhikers, catch whiffs of people smoking marijuana, see a ton of logging trucks moving massive logs, and see quite a few hippies. I’m just saying….
I was fortunate to later become a tour guide and have the opportunity to see this part of the California Coast many more times, but it was never quite the same as roughing it and being one with nature camping on the land of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
Here are a few more photos from our trip
Our campground- Albee Creek
The Carson Mansion is located in Eureka
The Mendocino Coast