So, let's see. Where were we?
After we packed up and left Humbug Mountain on the Oregon coast, we drove down into California and Redwood National and State Parks. On the way in, we managed to find a cell phone signal to call in Happy Father's day to our respective dads. Very crowded campground, and the site host who was "helping" the Park Service employee at the gates seemed to be missing her entire short term memory. But we found a spot and set up camp. I think that's the night we had fresh corn on the cob and veggie couscous for dinner. I know we had a big breakfast in the morning: whole grain pancakes and scrambled eggs. Good thing, because all we managed for lunch was Clif bars and fruit.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. After packing up the car, but before leaving the park, we drove out to the beach area and hiked back into Fern Canyon. Very cool place. Straight out of Jurassic Park or something. It's a fairly narrow canyon with a nice, pebbly creekbed to walk along, and the park service has laid boards across the creek in places, so you don't have to get your shoes wet unless you want to. Not that I mind getting wet feet, but it's nice that they've made it accessible to people who otherwise couldn't handle a rougher terrain. (We saw lots of wobbly older people making their way in.) The walls go up about 30-40 feet and are completely covered it bright green ferns. For variety, there's the occasional fallen redwood leaning against the walls, with exposed roots flashing the creek.
Fern Canyon was only a short 1 mile loop, so we decided to go up to the ridge so Jay could get a few more pictures of the redwoods. We found this one tree...at least I think it was all one tree...that had five or six giant trunks with a very sheltered gap in the middle, raised up maybe three or four feet from the ground and padded with fallen needles. Not a bad place to curl up for a nap, should one be so inclined. We continued up to the ridge, took a few more pictures, ate a quick snack, and ran back down to ogle the ferns.
Spent another half hour or so on the beach itself, sitting on an enormous piece of driftwood and watching a couple of harbor seals playing in the surf. We're going to be on the Jersey shore in August for a friend's wedding, and Jay was joking that it would just like this, only with Skeeball and fewer trees. Hah.
Made it down to the Santa Rosa area (north of San Francisco, for those not versed in California geography) in record time to make dinner for my friend AnnLoomis who I hadn't seen since February 2000 -- far, far too long. And it is now definitely HER turn to visit me, the wench. She had a softball game to go to that night, so Jay and I took advantage of her nice, hot shower and crashed early in her nice, firm guestroom bed.
The next day we spent at Point Reyes (National Recreation Area? or is it a National Wildlife Refuge?) on the coast. Very windy out there, but absolutely beautiful. Down on Drake's Beach, Jay entertained himself by throwing frisbee alone (into the wind - better than a boomerang) because I am not permitted to throw disk near the ocean due to my "trick" throw. In otherwords, half the time it goes where I intended, the other half it flies 90 degrees off to the right. It's a talent, what can I say?
We cruised through Petaluma and the Whole Foods store on the way back to Annie's. Jay was utterly mesmerized by the variety of fresh produce, and I have to admit, I was pretty damn impressed myself. I've never really wanted to live in California, but I think I could be persuaded just on the basis of access to fresh food.
Ann took us out to dinner that night at Dempsey's, a brew pub that features items grown in their own organic garden... something that you would not find in Utah. Food was supergood, conversation was equally entertaining, and we walked off our excesses around downtown Petaluma, which is a charming (and expensive) place with tons of well-cared-for Victorian homes.
And on that note, I'm going to drag my butt to the gym. I got used to the daily exercise on the trip, and I think I might as well keep up the habit.