It’s been 5 years since the last one.
Then and now.
Everyone’s a little older. A little more weathered.
Maybe a little wiser.
It’s just a pretty sleepy tourist town now. I wonder what it was like back in 1969…
We used to walk through the park and make love along the way… in Mendocino.
We cut over to the coast and cruised Hwy 1 down towards Mendocino. Camping on the coast is tough this time of year – for the past few nights we’ve been one of the last campers admitted. We stopped at Russian Gulch and the ranger told us they were full, but Van Damme had spaces. Twenty minutes later we showed up at Van Damme and the ‘campground full’ sign was already out.
We pulled in and asked a couple of park rangers in the friendliest tone as possible. They looked at each other and nodded and then told us to go look at #12. It had a ‘reserved’ sign with someone’s name already on it, but I guess they knew something we didn’t. We came back around and told them it would be fine, but was already assigned. No problem – it’s available for you.
We were only a few steps from the beach, so we went to check out the action. Abalone divers and spelunking sea kayakers were the action. A nice family gave us tutorial on abalone diving along with an exhaustive list of regulations. I don’t see any of us braving the chilly waters to catch a giant snail in the near future. Pretty neat, but I think I would want to do a taste test first. She said she slices and fries them. I bet it tastes like chicken.
Instead of cold water, we braved a giant sticker patch to get some fresh blackberries. I now know firsthand what a stinging nettle is and just how bad it hurts.
Bode had his own little battle with a loose tooth and a geriatric dog. Apparently, he was bitten by a neighboring camper’s dog, but didn’t tell anyone until later. He knew it was a good dog and it didn’t really mean harm – he didn’t want it to get in trouble.
My tongue likes the new hole. It has a mind of it’s own
Camping in the Redwoods. Driving through trees.
It had to be done.
It did take two attempts. First we had to remove the stuff from the top, then Angela had to ride on the back bumper so we could fit through.
Luis and Lacey showed us around town and were awesome hosts. We had passed through Arcata the first week of our trip and really liked it. This is another one of those towns I could imagine staying for a while. Really comfortable and mellow. And, there’s a Westy on every block – I promise. If you come here and you don’t see 20 Westys, I’ll give you a dollar.
The Saturday market seems to bring out everyone in town – some with their lizards, some with their birds, juggling pins, hula hoops, banjos, etc. You get the idea.
I’m thinking the town square also has one of the most-climbed trees in the county as well. I had to go up too. You just can’t not climb this thing.
The same day we were in Alameda, we got an email from Cameron and an offer to meet up for lunch. He’s already been off on one roadtrip to South America that was cut short by a car wreck. Now, he’s back home and prepping for a second attempt – this time in a Westy. There you go – now there’s at least two Westy trips to the end of the continent(s) that started in Alameda: Overlander Central.
The funny thing is we were on our way to go see some overlanding friends in Eureka and Arcata that same day.
We first met Lorna and Steve in Peru, and then crossed paths again in Chile. Now they’re back in California and thinking about the next trip. They still have the Landy – it barely made it back from Santiago – but are planning a more comfortable ride the next time around. Maybe a Sprinter.
Ten miles away in Arcata were Luis and Lacey. These guys left California in a Landcruiser about he same time we did and returned home about the same time as well. We found each other through other travelers a few years ago and were sure we would meet on the road at some point… but that never happened until today. Super cool folks who are also itching to get back on the road. We’ll meet up again somewhere. Baja for Thanksgiving? We’ll figure it out.