How do you begin a year of travel?
We began this travel-year with road-tripping around the United States. From April to August, we are hiking, rock climbing, running, and swimming as we travel around the United States in a car, camping with an occasional night in a hotel room. The first part of this epic trek took us along the United States’ west coast from Ventura California, to Washington State, where we turned inward, away from the coast. As we travel along, we’ve camped and hiked in local beach areas.
There is something awesome to waking up next to the beach for almost two weeks straight. For all except three nights, we camped in our tent (the other three nights we spent two of them in hotel rooms, thank God for showers!!!) and, for one of the nights, in a campground cabin. We have a really nice, really big tent (a six person tent that is six feet tall on and sets up and tears down easily); camping mattresses (foam and air beds combined, reallllllllly comfortable); sheets, pillows, and blankets; and a condensed camping kitchen. In addition, we have a smaller tent for backpacking/emergencies and 20°F sleeping bags.
We are mostly ‘glamping’ instead of camping.
Santa Cruz Island
During our three days and two nights on the island, we explored the island near Scorpion Cove. Our first day there, we saw Potato Harbor and Cavern Point. The next day, we hiked to Smuggler’s Cove and Smuggler’s Canyon. On Smuggler’s Canyon hike, KC wanted to take the canyon all they way back to the ridge. At one point during the hike, probably half way down the canyon, we came across an impassable section, where we had to find another way out, besides going back the way we came. We then decided to scramble out of the canyon by climbing up the canyon walls to the ridge and follow the ridge back to the trail. The last day, we took a fox trail off the little Scorpion Cove trail and found a hidden beach gem and a few awesome coastal overlooks.
We followed Highway 1 and Interstate 101 up the western coast starting in Ventura, California with overnight stops in Morro Bay, Big Sur, Mount Tamalpais, and Eureka before crossing the Oregon border. Each campground was located on or within hearing range of the beach. The hotel we stayed at in Eureka was in-land and away from the ocean. There were some notable stops along the way, including downtown Monterey, Avenue of the Giants, John Muir Woods, and Jedediah Smith State Park. Check out the photo journal.
Along the Oregon Coast, we camped, cabined, and hotel-stayed. We stayed at the Cape Blanco Campground (the furthest point west in Oregon), Cape Lookout Campground, and in the city of Seaside. The whole Oregon Coast is beautiful. While driving, we saw breath-taking beautiful beaches, huge sand dunes, Thor’s well, and the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail (ends in Seaside, Oregon).
In the midst of the coastal beauty we found two different cheese regions. That’s right, cheese. There’s more on this in another food article, but for now, they were some great stops.
The one disappointing stop was the Goonies house in Astoria. This was a movie from my childhood and I was looking forward to seeing it and hoping that it may even have a museum. Well, it turns out you can only look at it from a distance and it’s been painted and remodeled since the movie (the house is privately owned). It was fitting that it was raining that day.