The best thing about traveling in an RV? Being able to get going without having to wait for the kids to wake up, or having to wake them up. Unless a cop is reading this. Then of course I wake my kids up and strap them in every single time we start The Beast up. Of Course!
We kept up our meandering pace today and took time to smell the flowers, spent time at a play ground, admired the fog as it was rolling off the ocean mid morning, ogled a couple elk and stopped at a delicious restaurant I read about on an obscure travel site.
The Samoa Cookhouse.
This place is completely worth writing about. Mentioning time and time again. Taking a bit of a detour to go to. All of the above.
It's set in an old lumber companies mess hall. Still the same set up with huge communal tables, two REALLY busy/efficient but friendly waitresses and fabulous food. Basically, you take your chances as to if you're going to like what they are serving, as there is no menu. It's: "This is what we are serving. If you don't like it, eat else where." type deal. We got there for lunch, they were serving "short ribs" (roast in layman's terms). First a big bowl of salad is brought out, along with a loaf of home made bread. Then a vegetable stew. Followed up by the main course, vegetable side dishes and pasta. Finished up with a dessert. It was filling but not so filling you are uncomfortable. Just Full. Simply wonderful.
I never thought I'd do what we did next ... drive through the Redwoods! It was beyond what I thought it'd be like. I was enraptured. REALLY glad I had my mom along to drive so I could sit with my head stuck out the window, getting whip lash as we saw the amazing sites. We couldn't go through The Avenue of the Giants without stopping at the Drive Thru Tree shrine thing, that'd just be silly. Once again, something that was just for me ... but I'm sure my kids enjoyed it too ;)
After that ... the day went down hill then back up hill then down hill then back up hill then down hill. No, that's not entirely correct. It was like we did switch backs for 22 miles. Then 35 more miles.
Let me back up.
After we'd seen the Redwoods, my mom and I looked at the maps we had and made a judgement call. Even though I don't think it was ENTIRELY my fault, it was my idea. I decided from the bottom of Humbolt state park we'd head over to the coast and go down on the "1" (starting at Leggett, going down to Fort Bragg). On the map it looks like this: When in REALITY it REALLY looks like this: Seriously. There were points on the winding mountainous road we were winding around so tightly, we could see on my GPS where we'd been just a few minutes before ... BESIDE the road we were currently on. Once we hit Fort Bragg we played on the beach - which we could FINALLY see. Then took stock of the map again. Once again, take a look at the map - it's the "20" you can see that we decided to take from Fort Bragg to Willits.... because there was NO WAY we were staying on the dreaded "1". *sigh* It was THIRTY FIVE more miles of the same. This time ... in the dark. Oh happy day. That 57 miles took us at least four hours to drive. It was insane. It was brutal. It was painful.
So bad that when we finally stopped for the day we actually had to remind ourselves that we HAD done something fun that day.
No campground that night. After we got past Willits I found the nearest parking lot and we both fell asleep completely exhausted.