Monday, July 13, 2015

WEST COAST ROAD TRIP {Our Drive up the Pacific Coast}

We knew we wanted to do and see as much as possible on this road trip so when we trying to decide how to get from San Diego to San Fran to Portland we decided to take the Pacific Coast Highway and start in San Diego. It was a pretty epic drive and I thought I should share the drive via front seat photography...
  We Started in San Deigo on the 1.  
 We drove through the small coastal towns like Newport and Laguna Beach area.  
We saw some pretty great classic and historic cars on the drive, unfortunately I wasn't able to document them all, or even very well at times.
The view was pretty epic, however, when we stopped to take the girls to the bathroom in Longbeach we were hassled by several pan handlers in the parking lot, and after looking at the map, Husband decided driving though Inglewood on surface streets might not be the safest choice.  So, we decided to hop on the 5 for a bit.  We cut through the corner of LA and it was still a 2 hour effort through the gridlock. 
 Once we got outside of LA we jumped on the 101 and continued though the coastal beach cities.
I tried you guys.  I tried, sorry not sorry it's blurry but I had to share because wut?!
Eventually, we stopped Malibu for a bite to eat at Mangia.  
 I like the little restaurant because they brought out bread right away with balsamic and oil!
 It was also a beautiful view from the patio.
 we were totally in the shade and the food was good.
 Once we were done eating {almost 5 hours into our drive} we loaded back into the car for the rest of our adventure.  
It really was a beautiful {but L O N G drive}
 By switching to the 101 we didn't get as much coast, but honestly what we saw while on the 1 {PCH} and when it merged back together was beautiful but not worth costing us an additional 3-4 hours.  Even with our modification of 1 to 5 to 1 to 101 it took about 12 hours to get to San Francisco from SD.  If I had realized the PCH took closer to 13 hours as opposed to the 8 google suggested I would have broke it up with a night in maybe Santa Barbara
 Eventually, we started seeing signs for SF.
 We got into some mountains as we got away from the coast.
 but then we'd curve back out and see some water.
 I like how the reflection of my cup appears to be torching the mountains, but really I was taking picture because it looked like the mountain was on fire, turns out it was a processing facility of some type and burning off on the mountain side, does not seem like a good way to prevent forest fire, but whatever.
 further on and up we lost the water completely and instead were greeted with fields and fields of food. grapes, strawberries, cherries, lots and lots of produce, most of which did not look like it was growing organically and kind of made me not want to grocery shop at all and only grow my own food, but it's also cool to show your kids where their food comes from.
 Took this photo for a friend who lives in Bakersfield, so close yet so far. Wish we could have said hi.
Finally, we made it into San Fran! you can read about our trip in the city here, but for the sake of this post I'll jump ahead to when we left.
 Leaving from the East side of the city we got a pretty fabulous view.
 and just outside of Sausalito we started to get more of that Pacific Coast back.
 I had husband pull over so we could document the family car on her first Road Trip.
 We got our National Parks Access Pass {which didn't cover camping but did cover park admission and got us a discount on camping} and I set up the gopro so husband could record his driving up the coast.
 It got really sunny on our way out of town, started to warm back up outside of SF.
 We even opened the sunscreen to let more light in.
 we climbed a little higher back to more of a high desert landscape.
 We got back on the 1 
 and saw some of the most beautiful coastal landscapes I've ever seen.
 I made Husband pull over so I could grab some photos, even though it totally pissed off the kids and we had to listen to them cry for an hour.
 It was worth it!
 As we reached northern California we turned away from the water again.
 and headed into the forest and trees.
 we ended up not making all the way to the National Redwood Forest, so instead we camped at a state park I think it was the Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area.
 once we got up in the morning we set off to see the redwood.
 we drove through more trees.
 and the logging trucks broke my heart, all those trees gone.
 but then there was this fun splatter paint on the road which we enjoyed.
 and we got deeper and deeper in I realized my friend Michelle knew the area of Eureka pretty well so I asked her where to eat, you can read about Renata's Creperie on the Camping post coming up next.
The weather on the way up to Eureka was foggy and spooky and wonderful. 
 Eventually we made it to the redwood forest and you can see the size of the trees compared to our car!
back on the 101 we saw more coast 
 and more. 
 and you can see the cliffs of the mountains we were driving next to, it was all so humbling to see the earth so big and strong next to our tiny bodies.
 When we got into Oregon we stayed on the path to a little river, we looked for a campsite in the National Park near Umpqua Hot Springs.
 and we passed over lots of bridges.
 and followed that stream for a bit longer.
 until we ended up at Island campsite.  Which put us right on the water for the night.
We got out of the car and I touched the water.  It was probably my favorite campsite and stop on the trip.  

Have you been to the Northwestern United States?  I can't wait to plan our next trip to that area, so many beautiful places I want to see.What were your favorite stops or where do you want to go?  

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