Monday, November 14, 2011

Into the Trees...

Happy waning days of Fall everyone!

I started this post at the first tiny flutters of fall-hued leaves, when I was absolutely ecstatic about daily sweater weather, blustery days and hot cocoa times, ready for foggy days at the shore and for the squrrels that live in our chimney to don their tiny acorn hats. The time has been slipping away like crazy ever since and I'm finally posting just as the first frosts set in, while the sun sets at the extremely untimely, forever surprising and ever-such-a-bummer hour of four o'clock in the afternoon.

In any case, I didn't want to wait until the first snowdrifts to share the Fall Screaming Mimis ad, inspired partly by Laura and Kim's epic West Coast road trip, partly by legendary 70s California rock climbers The Stonemasters:

and partly by our mutual obsessions with vintage canteens!

Not to be outdone by my own illustration of the perfect imaginary camping trip, Jeff and I cobbled together a last minute itinerary built around a friends magical woodland wedding in Arcata and set off on our own dreamy early Fall impromptu wander of the Northern California and Oregon coastlines:
Despite being armed only with a few scrawled post-it lists of hastily researched campsites, a couple of vague sightseeing recommendations, a recently acquired super cute though not-terribly-mechanically-sound future veggie oil powered station wagon, a list of camping supplies that consisted, in its entirely, of 1) marshmallows and 2) fire, and a borrowed tent that resulted in a comedy of errors the first time we tried to set it up, or maybe even partly because of those things, we kind of had the best trip ever, an absolutely epic ramble through some of the most amazing landscapes the West Coast has to offer!

Here I am, wayfinding, as snapped by Jeff:
After a mini inland detour for a quick peek at the Oregon Caves and Chateau, a Wildlife Safari and hopeful but sadly not-to-be Treesort adventure (Note to future wanderers, the treehouses are sometimes booked up to a year in advance!) we decamped to the coast for a few days of beachcombing in Humboldt County, whiling away the hours along a few of my new favorite shorelines in the world, watching the surf from a redwood lined perch at Moonstone Beach and barely making it back up the cliff to camp at dusk weighed down with every pocket full of insanely beautiful rocks, gemstones, and petrified driftwood via Agate Beach at Patrick's Point State Park.

Here's Jeff, hobo camping at Moonstone Beach, as snapped by me: We saw a million giant trees, veered off on every scenic highway and byway, and hiked through a million ancient forests and fern lined canyons. A few of our absolute favorite spots in the Redwoods were Fern Canyon, the Big Tree Wayside, and Ladybird Johnson Grove, but I would love love love to hear about more secret spots and local favorites for next time! Of course, we also had to pull off at literally every single tourist attraction along the way, from a quick stop to visit Paul Bunyan at the Trees of Mystery to new favorites the Prehistoric Gardens and the West Coast Game Park Safari, reported to be the largest wild animal free range petting zoo in the country, where we had an extended hangout with the cutest herd of baby deer, got chased around by angry swans and had all of our clothes gnawed on by tiny Satanic goats, which was maybe kind of the best thing ever?

Here I am posing for the classic tourist shot at the Prehistoric Gardens:
Since this recap has just barely crept across the Oregon border, I should probably save the rest for another time. Stay tuned for foggy cliffs, baby seals, deco bridges, neon tidepools, clam chowder and lots and lots of antiques!