Danler Road Trip 2016 – A Long and Winding Road

June 28, 2016

Ken made the girls and I a delicious made-to-order breakfast. He was so generous and kind to us. The girls and I both enjoyed our time with him very much. After departing his place in Eureka, we followed him in his BMW to the beginning of the Avenue of the Giants, a scenic road that snakes through some incredible redwood forests in Northern California. When we got there, we said our goodbyes and headed off the road on a brief hike see get up close to big wood.

The redwoods in Northern California are massive! They’re so majestic, and awe inspiring. I enjoyed walking among them with the girls, looking up occasionally and considering their history, which may span millennia. The girls and I climbed on trunks of fallen giants, and posed hugging the behemoths, as one is required to do, I assume.

Today was primarily a restful, easy, driving day to the hotel where we had a reservation in Sonoma, just north of San Francisco. We had planned a lot of time for the relatively short drive, so we could take the scenic route and enjoy ourselves. California did not disappoint. After driving the length of Avenue of the Giants, we cut over to the coast to drive California State Highway 1. It was, without question, the most fun, scenic drive of my life. The curves were tight and banked and had loads of dramatic elevation changes, the scenery spanned from massive redwoods along the road with sunlight poking through, dotting the ground, to high cliffs with large rolling hills on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. It was fun to do it in the Expedition, but it would have been made even better on a sport bike.

We stopped many times along the way to breathe in the fresh air, take in the gorgeous scenery, and snap what surely seemed to the girls like countless pictures. I was definitely in my elements, swearing that one day I would move here and live a life of peaceful solitude and serenity.

For dinner we stopped in a small pizzaria in Gualala. While we ate, the waves lapped the sandy beach just across the street. It couldn’t have been any better. Unless, of course, Kirsten had been with us.

Eventually, we had to leave the coastal road and head inland to Sonoma, where we had a hotel reservation. By the time we arrived it was dark, so we couldn’t see any of the nearby vineyards. Our room is nice, complete with a fireplace and deck overlooking the pool and hot tub. All tired, we retired for a restful night ahead of a busy day in San Francisco!

In California, we found many redwood forests, which are all impressive.
In California, we found many redwood forests, which are all impressive.
These forests have to be experienced in person. They're so stoic and majestic.
These forests have to be experienced in person. They’re so stoic and majestic.
We enjoyed our time in the redwood forests.
We enjoyed our time in the redwood forests.
Hayley snaps a photo of a giant redwood tree.
Hayley snaps a photo of a giant redwood tree.
Jenna often seeks solitude in nature and quiet places.
Jenna often seeks solitude in nature and quiet places.
We did it. The Expedition made it through a redwood.
We did it. The Expedition made it through a redwood.
When we finally emerged from the woods, there was the Pacific Ocean. Skye marked the occasion.
When we finally emerged from the woods, there was the Pacific Ocean. Skye marked the occasion.
When we got to the Pacific Ocean, we took a picture.
When we got to the Pacific Ocean, we took a picture.
Northern California is gorgeous!
Northern California is gorgeous!
When we got to the Pacific Ocean, we jumped. As you do.
When we got to the Pacific Ocean, we jumped. As you do.
The girls atop a tall cliff at the Pacific Ocean in northern California.
The girls atop a tall cliff at the Pacific Ocean in northern California.
Jenna, thinking about something at the ocean.
Jenna, thinking about something at the ocean.
The girls posed for me on a bench at the Pacific Ocean in Northern California.
The girls posed for me on a bench at the Pacific Ocean in Northern California.
Sisters hugging on a trail. Does it get any better than this?
Sisters hugging on a trail. Does it get any better than this?
Northern California
Northern California

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I loved watching these adept logging trucks on the winding roads of Northern California.
I loved watching these adept logging trucks on the winding roads of Northern California.

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When the signs point to a lighthouse, we follow the signs.
When the signs point to a lighthouse, we follow the signs.
Hayley at Point Arena Lighthouse
Hayley at Point Arena Lighthouse
Jenna, making a face. As she does.
Jenna, making a face. As she does.

3 Comment

  1. I love that you’re having these experiences. Thank you for sharing them and for the beautiful photos!

  2. A restorative vibe here. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Kathy Longacre says: Reply

    You pack so much into each day. Awesome!

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