Two young 50-something females. One big adventure exploring the Americas. Have liquidated everything they own and packed a Saturn Vue with bare necessities to set out on this journey. Planting seeds at each juncture symbolizing their new growth. With an open mind and heart, ready to get a true view of this world.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Beach Bliss

Our Pacific Coast adventure leads us to the quaint little town of Gualala where we find an amazing place to stop and really enjoy the magnificent scenery offered in this region. After leaving Mendocino and opting not to stop because it was too early in the day, we are just beginning to wonder if we have made a mistake. Pickings have been slim until here. But, Seacliff on the Bluff provides us with a comfortable, spacious room, an amazing view with a price that doesn't make us pause.

Located directly on the water, next to a beautiful state park and, yes, those are whales right off the beach! We are quite happy indeed!

The sleepy little town offers all we find truly important. A great hike, a gorgeous beach, and comfortable accommodations with superior service. We even are guided to an amazing dining experience 3 miles away in Anchor Bay at the Redwood Grill. Truly a delicious and delightful experience. The owner/hostess welcoms us warmly and the brand new menu lists almost too many tempting possibilities. We opt for a tasting approach and are quite satisfied. Truffle fries are cooked and seasoned to perfection. The tuna equally attended to by the chef. A roasted beet salad with arugula proves absolutely amazing. Slow cooked short ribs literally melt and accompanied with a great red wine complete a truly wonderful experience. Thank you again to Kathy, who not only took incredible care of us upon our check in at the Seacliff but also is responsible for leading us to the Redwood. These two experiences alone make a stop in Gualala a must. The bonus of whales literally put it over the top!

The morning hike at Gualala Point Regional Park provides access to the beautiful cliffs and beach, as well as the Gualala River. It's quite fun meandering between the Pacific and River along the little strip of beach. Perched on one of the rocks, watching the tide roll in provides a trance like moment. Watching the whales frolicking in the wake take us to new heights. The California coast truly is an unrivaled event!

We, of course, find the perfect picnic spot, perched high on a cliff, taking in all we've witnessed this morning. The afternoon spent in complete tranquility.

Several more short hikes continue to provide special findings. Our day so full of wonder and beauty, peace and serenity. It's hard to create a more perfect time than this!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

California Dreaming

Leaving the Redwoods, we start down the Pacific Highway Coast, enjoying the knowledge that our coastal exploration has given, realizing the coast is in sight when the fog once again encompasses. The sunny forest disappears quickly as the fog awaits our arrival - it's certainly something to experience. Once again, breathtaking - what we can see!

A brief stop at one of many state parks along the way allows some really beautiful vistas, utilizing a boardwalk that takes us along tide pools, rocky cliffs and lush meadows. We continue to be completely amazed at what this Pacific coast brings. So different from our Atlantic we've grown up with, it's the ultimate adventure for exploration. Our biggest surprise still is the chill in the air in August, necessitating the ever present jacket requirement, a staple we can't believe how often needed!

Dotting this daring Highway 1, amidst the parks, coast and winding roads, are quaint little towns that appear out of nowhere. Traffic is very sparse and yet another surprise as we traverse south in full blown summer. We're not sure where the tourists are but we're happy to have the unexpected quiet along this gorgeous route. It makes the experience even more spectacular and we, like so often on this journey, are very thankful.

Mendocino is as charming as we've read it would be, and the tourist population here is reflective. We entertain a stop, as well, but it's relatively early in our day and we opt to push on. The highway stretching ahead with promise of even more!

Avenue of the Giants

Quite honestly, only the grandeur of the redwoods could have matched our incredible experience along the Oregon coast. Traveling into the Avenue of the Giants lives up to the hype without question. These enormous trees dwarf everything and the serenity and peace that ensues when entering this 30-mile scenic route is truly one of the most amazing feelings we've shared on this grand adventure.

The alternate route running parallel with Highway 101 offers a journey not to be missed. As we travel the quiet road, we are transported into awe inspiring bliss. Looking upward through the giant lined sky keeps us virtually silent as these wonders surround completely. We have read this is a special place and what an understatement as we explore.

Several stops ensue as we get up close and personal with these gorgeous beings. Periodic trails entice and the morning is full with soaking up the unsurpassed energy. The clear, sunny day adds completely to the grand scenery as we move every so slowly through this wonderous maze.

The ultimate tree hug!

Exiting this haven is most difficult. For anyone who wants to witness the magic of a redwood forest, the Avenue of the Giants is definitely the E-ticket!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


After endless days of fog, our final exit from the coast of Oregon brings us the long awaited sun along the shore. And, how spectacular it is. Fitting as we have enjoyed this state so fully even with the lack of that much needed sunshine. As beautiful as this magnificent coast has shown, with today's clear skies, another realm of heaven is revealed.

Bidding farewell to this favorite state so far is bittersweet as we relish the redwoods ahead and California beckons.
As magnficent as Oregon haunts have been, the single standout achievement is the amazing picnic spots offered at literally every venue.

We say goodbye with a view of some of the best....

You must be beginnng to see how once again Oregon wins - hiking and the perfect picnic stop - our very favorite combination.

Of all of our many glorious moments along this journey, Oregon has definitely made it's way to a strong first. We think you might have to agree. This state is a must see for all!