March 20th

Pretty nice falling asleep to crashing waves! Tellicum was beautiful! Right next to where we camped was a path/tunnel that lead through the hedge to a private little picnic spot on top of the bluff. Complete with picnic table and fire pit!

Tunnel to the beach!
Nice little spot
View from the window
Breakfast in Milou

It was not exactly warm, so we dressed up and headed down to the beach for a morning stroll. The beach was gorgeous, flat sand beach ran up to 10-20ft cliffs. On top of the cliffs people had built houses over the years. The cliffs were slowly eroding and the houses were loosing the battle with the sea. It reminded me of a game we played as kids when the tide was coming in. We would do everything we could to protect our sand castles from the waves but no matter what, nature won. I think this will be the case for these houses despite the effort to stop the erosion.

A brisk walk on the beach
Some rocks to help with Erosion
Fighting Nature

My Dad and I loaded up the rig and continued to head south. Hoping to make it to Bandon Dunes by the afternoon. The drive down the Oregon coast is beautiful and a must do. Winding roads with rain forests, big cliffs and waves at the bottom crashing. We stopped along the coast and hopped out for a view and I heard this strange sound almost like dogs barking. I look over the cliff and see a whole colony of sea lions! Barking and rolling all over the place. We had a fun time watching them play in the surf.

Sea lions!

Next stop was Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. This is the largest costal Dune area in the US! So as you can imagine its mostly sand, sand and more sand. If I had to guess, I would say every person in that town probably had some sand in there bed…

My Dad and I cruised along the coast and parked next to some huge dunes. Hiked up to the top and looked out on to the ocean. Naturally we found some dunes to jump off and proceeded to fill our clothes with sand.

Made it to the Dunes

Soon back in Milou and heading south. We learned about the issues of living in the dunes. One grocery store had to pay excavators to clear all the sand out from the back of a store, only to have it blown back in again in a few months. Easy labor for the excavators tho!

We made it to Bandon Dunes by about 4pm and found a nice camp ground right outside of the small town. We did a small tour of the golf course but did not head out even though the day was gorgeous!

Camp site selection is really a science that I know nothing about. This particular campground had lots of great spots that were tucked away in the coastal forests. I spotted one with a goat path behind it and soon became convinced it must be a path to the beach! So we promptly pulled in.

After paying our way, we headed up the trial to see what we could find! The trail soon ended and we continued to bushwhacking until we came to a large green clearing. Confused by what this was and why there was plastic utility covers out there, we kept on walking. We headed to a high point to see if we could get a view. Soon we saw three square ponds. hmmm… We did not find a beach…we couldn’t even see the ocean. We found a leach field for the town instead. We had a good laugh and at least we got some exercise ๐Ÿ™‚

Leach Feild
Is that the beach?

Once we bumbled our way back to Milou. I cut up some limes, made some cocktails and soon realized we had nothing for dinner. So pantry challenge it was! We ended us up with a weird egg drop soup dish. It was food tho and we were tired and hungry so we ate it up and headed indoors. We put on a terrible movie and soon were asleep!

Cheers! Trying out the new chairs!
March 21st

Up early! Dad had a conference call, so we headed to town to find a nice little cafe. I made some phone calls while he worked. I found a really cool fish sculpture made 100% from plastic found on the beach.

The plastic fish!

After breakfast we wondered around a bit before heading to the beach. A big hobby here is searching for Agate’s. An Agate is a translucent microcrystalline quartz and considered a semiprecious stone. I found a few very small ones and I think my Dad lost interest pretty quick and just took in the views!

Today’s destination was the Redwoods. So we got back in Milou and headed south. Keeping our eyes open for migrating gray whales all the way down the coast.

No whales! But I did find some Dinosaurs!

We arrived at the Jedediah Smith Campground around 3:30pm. We are slowly getting better at arriving at campgrounds at a reasonable time. Jedediah Smith’s Campground is based right in an old growth Redwood grove on the Smith River. We scored an awesome spot on the river bank underneath a few beautiful Redwoods. Once we parked and had settled up, we attempted to go on a hike. However, the maps where terrible and after walking the same loop twice we found a Park Ranger to talk too. She informed us that the bridge that leads to the trails was out for the season. That would explain why we could not find the trails! So we walked along the river bank and enjoyed the forrest and running water. These trees are amazing. Hard to even fathom how hold they are, let along how tall and big! I feel very thankful that the people of our past had the forethought and will to keep them from being cut down. Then we headed back to the campsite to cook up some dinner!

Trying to capture the trees!
Dad on the side of Smith River
The Redwoods theater

However, before we started in on dinner we mixed up a few cocktails and headed to the river bank to enjoy some cheese and crackers and some spirits as we looked up at the Redwoods!

Next we fired up the new grill my Dad got for Milou! Its a perfect size and made some delicious food. We had some mango Jalapeรฑo sausages with grilled Zucchini! To top it off we had a bit of Oregon wine from Willamette valley and some Tates cookies!

Getting the new Biolite going!
Dad cooking up some zucc’s
Grilling away!
A nice little spread!

As the sun went down we climbed into Milou and put on a show and soon were asleep.

March 22nd

Rain Rain Rain is what we woke up too. Dad and I had a long drive today so we got on the road pretty quick. With the rain coming down it was easy to motivate and get out of dodge.

We headed south to the Avenue of Giants. The Avenue of Giants is a 31 mile stretch of old Highway 101. The area is over 51,000 acres of redwood groves! A pretty amazing drive. Although, it was raining it was fun to see the trees in their natural habitat.

Looked to be burned out by lighting

They have a great visitor center that has a large chuck of a tree on display with name tags pointing to various rings. These rings show the year that major historic events happened. Such as 1000 the year Vikings came to North America or 1218 the Year that Genghis Khan concord Persia. Pretty wild to see a tree that had lived through all of that and know that others out there are still living!

Log Date Tree-

My other favorite exhibit was about a Man named Charles Kellogg who made a camper of sorts out of a single redwood log and drove all over the country spreading the news about the magnificent trees and how the country needed to protect them!

Log Trailer -
Inside the Travel Wagon

After getting our fair share of tree views we continued our trip south along the coast. Heading to our good friends Dave and Julie who live in Napa. It was pretty cool to drive down into Napa. Very green and lots of Vineyards. I felt like I was coming down into a small Italian town!

Dad at the helm

We made it to Dave and Julies around 6:30pm. Visited at the house for a bit and said hi to my buddy Bruin.

Hi Bruin!

Then we headed out to get some food at a delicious restaurant before going back to Dave and Julies and resting our heads in real beds ๐Ÿ™‚

March 23rd

Nothing like waking up to fresh Orange juice! Thanks to Dave and his orange tree ๐Ÿ™‚ As some of you may know I have been attempting to grow citrus back east for a few years now. How cool is it to be able to grow citrus in your own back yard! Dave and Julie have an awesome house with a big back yard full of citrus trees and even a couple of redwoods!!

Fresh Oranges!

After a delicious breakfast of egg sandwiches and fruit! I also might add the english muffins are the ones that Opera has on her wish list and they are delicious! Dave, Bruin and I went for a walk and then we hung out and explored the backyard and all the new improvements being done.

Lots of new things happening in the backyard!
Discussing the Garden

Walking around the yard really worked up our appetite. So Dave, my Dad and I went out to Genova Delicatessen to get sandwiches. This place is amazing! Big display case full of fresh deli meats and sides. A store full of authentic Italian breads, candies, coffee, Pasta and drinks! I can’t say enough good things about this place and the sandwiches are delicious! We headed back to the house and sat out on the front patio and enjoyed a delicious lunch!

Genova Delicatessen
A nice spot for some Lunch

Then it was time to hit the road to Tahoe. Both my Dad and I were questioning our decision to head back into the snow. But the mountains were calling so we packed up and headed out. We said good bye to Julie, Dave and Bruin!

Thank you all for letting us stay and showing us around Napa! I love your new home, its a paradise!

We will be seeing Dave in a few days as Dave and Julie offered to let us stay in their place in Truckee, right down the road from our old house!

It was fun driving to Tahoe, walking or for that matter driving down memory lane. We had not been back since about 2011. So we were curious to see what had changed! We got to Truckee at about 5:30pm. Took a trip through down town which was packed! We then made it to Dave and Julies beautiful Truckee house and settled in. We walked down the road to our favorite Thai place (Thai delicacy). Then headed back to the house to hang out and have a night in.

March 24th

Beautiful sunny Day! Yahoo! The Sun is out. Pretty fun to be heading up to the mountain! We had VIP parking for Milou thanks to Tom our good friend who works at Northstar. She fit right in, looking just like an Ambulance on duty. Pretty wild to be walking thru NorthStar village after so many years. We headed up the chair next to the gondola and then the Zephyr lift!

The Gang

Perfect timing, our close friends Betsy, Chris and Holly were just coming out of the lodge as we got off! We skied all day and even met up with some of my Dads close friends from college days. Sandy and Susie are from Arizona but were up visiting their Mom (Phyllis) who is 85 years old and still tearing it up! It was a great day of skiing!

Sandy, Susie and Phyllis
So much snow!!!

After skiing we stopped by Sandy, Susie and Phyllis’ condo and said hello before heading back to Daves house. Dave had made it up to Truckee at this point and we all went out to dinner at a great Mexican restaurant in town called Taco’s Jalisco! Then off to bed to get our rest for another big ski day!

March 25th

We had big plans to head to Alpine Meadows today but the wind was up and their lifts were down, so back to Northstar we went! We had a great day skiing with the gang, just like old times! It was so fun to ski this mountain and see how it has changed. I loved skiing with my Dad and having him point out all the trails he cut and why he cut them the way that he did. Pretty cool to see it all come to life! We ended the day with a delicious lunch at Martis Camp (Thank you Chris!)! So fun to be back with all these people!

For dinner we headed over to Betsy’s new place in Incline Village. A beautiful apartment she remodeled that looks out on lake Tahoe. We had a yummy dinner of pizza and salad and caught up with lots of old friends. Then off to bed with the alarm clock set early to bring Dad to the airport.

Betsy and the new Kitchen!
Me and Tom!
Luke and Lucy
Me and Lucy!
March 26th

I am awake and its 5:50 am! Off to Reno, we went to drop Dad off at the airport.

Thanks Dad for such an amazing time traveling down the Oregon coast! I had such a blast camping, driving and skiing with you! I feel so lucky to have done this! Come back and visit me on the road anytime!

Bye Dad!

It was still early and I needed fuel. So I headed to the cheapest diesel station in Reno. $3.01/gal if you paid with cash. The cashier looked out the window and noticed the Ambulance and remarked that “us” ambulance drivers sure do dress casual these days. I laughed and agreed and was on my way. Back up to Truckee as there was rumor of a storm coming in and I did not want to get stuck down in the valley.

I spent the rest of the day chatting with dave and catching up on my blog and emails.

Then for dinner, I headed out to meet up with my good friend Kacy from UVM and her boy friend Andrew. We had a great time catching up! It had been way to long!