Following our May road trip, we thought we became good travel experts with a late stage ALS patient. We learned how to pack and how much, and we all agreed that two night Minimum stays vs over night stops is mandatory. It was too much of a rush. At the end of that trip Tracy asked where next? I said let’s do the Pacific Northwest!
So about a month later we had an itinerary and a plan. This trip would be different from Yellowstone because we would be visiting family and friends at each stop.
Spoiler alert:we overpacked and had two overnight stops. Lol it's like we forgot the last trip.
Day 1 Orange County to Cambria - Again we had the van loaded. If we do this again, I need to buy a bigger van. The drive was nice and we got rain, Tracy and I hoped for fall weather on the trip but that was all we got. We arrived at our beautiful destination and the views from the house were amazing. There was an elevator so I Could reach the second floor. I don’t think you can beat Monday Night Football in this environment. Thank you Valovs for letting us stay at your home, simply incredible.
Day 2 - Cambria, San Simeon - We enjoyed coffee by the window and enjoyed the ocean view. In San Simeon we stopped to see the elephant seals. Across PCH is the famous Hearst Castle, we didn’t go visit but we spent some time watching the zebras grazing. Had lunch at the Main Street Grill in town, and then had a visit from my Aunt Manya and Julie. Again marveled at the sunset and view, Cambria holds such a special place in my heart. So many family memories here.
Day 3 Cambria to San Francisco - We left the house and took the 101 to Santa Cruz and drove along the coast to SF. There were a few fields of pumpkins so we had to stop and get one :). Half moon bay was a beautiful area, hard to believe that the concrete jungle of SF was a few miles away, and here on the coast seemed so spacious between the villages and nature.
Day 4 San Francisco and Sausalito - We met up with Tracy's sister who lives in sf. I’ve never stopped for a photo at the golden gate bridge so we did that. Had lunch at a brewery in Sausalito, I enjoyed my beer and french fries. Later in the day we had dinner by oracle park, and really enjoyed our company.
Day 5 San Francisco to Eureka - This stretch of 101 was amazing. Coastal Redwoods, Paul Bunya, Bigfoot and unbelievable views. We made it to Eureka, and had dinner with my friend Michelle who moved here. We have been friends since kindergarten, and we never miss a beat when we hang out.
Day 6 Eureka to Azalea Oregon - This part of America is really beautiful. Trees everywhere! On this leg of the trip I began getting sick and knew I needed rest. The original plan was two days at the Cobos Ranch in Azalea, and then two nights in Bandon, Oregon. But we decided to stay 4 days at the Cobos Ranch
Day 7, 8, 9 The Cobos Ranch and Azalea - Tracy and Leigh were in heaven here. From the mountain in the back of the property, along with a stream that had salmon running through it, the ranch was a beautiful setup. There were 4 ranch dogs, 3 horses,24 chickens, wild turkeys and elk. There were plenty of animals to keep the girls happy. Sunday I stayed in the house and watched football in between naps. We really enjoyed our time here, and we were very appreciative of the Cobos opening their house to us. It was an incredible experience enjoying coffee under the mountain which I named Coffee Mountain, visiting the antique store with the barbershop inside. The general store used to be a hotel and the post office, everything here was restored beautifully. Of course they had Umpqua ice cream for sale by the scoop. Southern Oregon was beautiful, I was pleasantly surprised with everything ive seen.
Day 10 Oregon to Redding - This was our stop to rest and break up the monotony of driving. Coming down the 5 freeway was o different than the 101 through Eureka. We did stop at the city of Weed, which was a cool experience. Sidenote: There was no weed there. At our hotel they had a bar inside called the three shastas with live music. Of course I cut the rug on the dance floor.
Day 11 Redding to Fresno - Welcome to the central valley, not much to see. After we arrived in fresno, we went to visit my brother and Aunt Natalie. The girls got to eat, and I enjoyed some blue mountains.
Day 12 Fresno - I wanted Tracy to try the tri tip from the dog house grill, so that’s where we had lunch. Afterwards we went back to the hotel to rest awhile. Later in the evening we went to visit friends and family at Joe and Wendy’s house . It was so amazing visiting , I love and miss my Fresno family.
Day 13 Fresno to OC - Before we left we went back to my aunt's house to visit with her and my brother. I was exhausted and ready to go home. Tracy and Leigh were probably more tired but they were both troopers.
This was a wonderfully perfect trip. Yes we argued and got upset with each other sometimes, but it was all worth it. Traveling for me is so much work and it all falls on Tracy and the caregiver. It is still possible to roadtrip with a single van , but it would be much easier with a sprinter van or another car following us to help with luggage. Tracy, I wouldn’t want to roadtrip with anyone but you. I love you.