Trip to Northern California, Oregon and Washington along the Coast 2017
Day 1. San Francisco to Fort Bragg, CA. May 17, 2017.
9980 miles on the car’s odometer. We begin our trip gone.
We take US 101 north from the San Francisco Airport. Stop for a few pictures of the bay. We pass Candlestick Park ball park.
We follow US 101 through busy urban areas in San Francisco. The traffic was slow going.
We reach the Golden Gate Bridge. Rosemary takes photos of the bridge while on the bridge. At the north end of the bridge, we exit off onto a large parking. Rosemary takes photos all around.
We photographed the monument to H. Dana Bowers. He was the supervising landscape architect for the California Division of Highways. Bowers planned the design of this Memorial Vista Park.
There are a lot of flowers in bloom in the park. There was a beautiful view of the highway tunnel which we captured.
We see a sign for the Tamalpais State Park
10003 miles. Stopped for more photos.
10004. We take a photo of a sign for the Muir Woods. John Muir helped establish the Sierra
Club and was a great nature writer.
We get a little lost trying to pick up Route 1, but finally recover find route 1.
We stop for photos of Muir Beach in the distrance. Going farther up Rt. 1 north, we found a great park overlooking the north and south ends of Muir Beach. There were a lot of both small and big rocks on the north beach. This is certainly not your Jacksonville, Florida Beach which only has sand for miles.
Finishing with the Muir Beach Overlook we tried to continue going north on Rt. 1, but were blocked by a closed road along the coast.
Now we wound up going in circles looking for the right highway to take. This was no easy task to accomplish. After failing to find the correct path for an hour or more, an outstanding California driver took the time to explain to us how to get over to Stinson Beach by taking a mountain part of US 101 north. The driver explained that we had to just keep going on the route and don’t give up and turn around. Following the advice we took the wavy, winding route to Stinson Beach.
Following this section, known as the Panoramic Road, we bypassed entrances two of the most important parks in the area: Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods. The park entrances were very close to each other and the area was swamped with parked cars. We decided to pass by these two well-known parks in the north San Francisco area.
We arrived at a very welcomed sight: Stinson Beach.
We stopped at Bolinas Lagoon to take some photos.
mm Mile marker 138. The next stop was to be at Point Reyes.
10084 odometer – Coleman Beach.
10085 – Portuguese Beach.
10087 – Duncans Cove.
10089 – Shell Beach.
10090 – Goat Rock State Park.
10090 – Russian River near town of Jenner.
10103 – Fort Ross, a Russian fort for catching otters and seals.
10105 – Fort Ross Lodge.
10107 –Stilt River Cove County Park.
10108 – Ocean Cove.
We stopped at Point Reyes Visitor Center. It was there that we realized it was already 3:30 p.m. and it was a long drive to Fort Bragg, California. So we decided just to drive straight to Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg was founded prior to the American Civil War as a military garrison and not a fort.
We made good time and came in some time around 5:30 p.m. (which 8:30 p.m. eastern standard time).
We ate at Dennys Restaurant and went to bed very early.
Golden Gate Bridge
Muir Beach Overlook
Bolineas Lagoon & Nearby
Day 2. Fort Bragg, CA to Crescent
City, CA. May 18, 2017.
Day 2. Fort Bragg, CA to Crescent City, CA. May 18, 2017.
We stayed at Best Western which faces the beach. After breakfast, we took photos of the beach in front of the motel. There is a trestle, known as the Pudding Creek Trestle, that is used as a walkway and Rosemary had fun taking photos of it.
We drove back south to take photos of Glass Beach, which is virtually in back of the Denny’s Restaurant. The beach is part of the Noyo Head Lands Park and Preserve. Glass Beach is very interesting with lots of rocks in the ocean. And there were lots of flowers in bloom. There were beautiful bright orange California poppies, pink-flowered sedums covering large patches of the grounds, tall plantains, ferns, blooming thistles and blue and purplish iris flowers, sow thistles and the reddish fruit of docks.
Next we start driving north on US 101. Stop to take a photo of the welcome sign to Fort Bragg.
At the 10 Mile River and beach we take photos of the lovely bridge and beach houses.
There is a marine sanctuary at Ocean Meadows.
Next stop is at Seaside Beach owned by the Medocino Land Trust. There are huge sea stacks,
like rising massive rocks thrusting up and out from the ocean. The beach has lots of drift. A big rock stands out with its colors of red and green.
Moving north Rosemary takes a part of US 101 closed in on both sides of the road by arching trees.
Stopped at a road pull-off with gorgeous beach views. A nearby mailbox has the number 3055 on it. Quite a few people have stopped to see the views. A friendly photographer had me walk south back down the road to see a small arc cut in a huge rock ridge. The blue and white of the Pacific Open can be seen while looking through the arch.
Downhill we go to another nearby place to stop. I park the car close to the cliff and a Vietnam veteran tells me I should move the car away from the cliff because recently they had a loss of some 40 acres of the cliff and my car could be in danger. He says he had to come out to California to go to South Vietnam and he remembers sleeping in his car and there was a fancy golf course and now it’s all gone. He said some president such as Nixon or Reagan used the golf force during some celebrity golf court, but he can’t really remember. I thanked him and moved the car on the far side of the parking area.
Pass by Newport Coastal Trail.
Pass by the Pacific Winery.
Stop at another viewing point. There were quite a few flowers in the area. We found red and yellow mix of columbines and purple flowered shrubs with waxy looking, dark green, alternate leaves,
Stop at another pull-off with nice beach views. We found a yellow mustard plant in bloom, Cock, some-type of beach pea, Medicago species, etc.
We next took photos at Blue Slide Gulch.
Pass by 7700 Westport.
Go over Wages Creek.
Another stop with ocean views near Wages Creek Beach.
Pass by: Westport Landing Bridge closed; 8000 Abalone Point; Howard Creek; and Howard Creek State Beach.
Stop to photograph Sea Lion Rock.
Pass by a terraced rock cliff near Juan Creek.
10237 odometer. US 101goes into the wooded area now.
Redwood trees here with a picnic area and campgrounds.
Dunn Creek Bridge.
South Fork Eel River.
Standish Stickey State Park.
Pass by Confusion Hill.
Pass through redwoods territory.
10253 odometer. Store called by the name of Legend of Big Foot.
Photos of South Fork Eel River.
Exit 636 – Benbow State Recreation Area.
Garberville and the speed limit is a rear 65 mph.
Crescent City is 150 miles away.
We notice we are on the Redwood Highway.
Exit 656 – Myers’ Flat at odometer reading 1027.
Crescent City is 131 miles away.
Only get to see some of Humboldt Bay. Australian trees lining part of the way on Humboldt Bay.
10334 odometer. Arcata with five exits.
Humboldt University has a Spanish design.
McKinleyville has five exits.
The ocean comes into view.
Stop to see the sights of the town of Trinidad. We park by the cliffs overlooking the cliffs and the Pacific Ocean. Rosemary visits with an elderly who has a fabulous garden with the biggest blooms we ever saw on a rhododendron bush. Take pictures of some big white lilies. The area hear is beautiful with so many wonderful flowers.
Pass by the Fresh Water Lagoon.
Orick has lots of driftwood carving places.
10407 odometer – Crescent City in view.
10410. Arrive at Best Western in Crescent City.
We take lots of photos of boats of the marina near the Best Western.
We take photos of seals resting in the Crescent City Harbor.
Day 3. Redwoods National Park.
May 19, 2017.
We travel to the Jedediah Smith State Park, part of a whole of four redwood parks. We drive on US 101 north and go off on the right to Route 199 heading northeast to the state park.
10430 odometer. We reach the park visitors center. We are sent back down the road for two miles to a place we had stopped at, but we concluded that it couldn’t be the start of redwood park trail. The name of the road is South Fork Road. At the start of our trail trip, we go over two bridges. A T-intersection stops. We have at stay stile until we figure out do we go right or left. Rosemary figures out that we have go right.
We are now in the Redwood Forest. These trees are really massive and they are really tall. I couldn’t really appreciate the height of the redwoods, because the unpaved road was full of holes and I had to keep dodging these holes, not to damage our rental car.
We pass Little Bald Hills Trail.
10435. The road seems really deserted out here.
We go over a little bridge.
10436. Pass by Stout Grove.
We notice the skunk cabbage plant species in the more swampy areas.
Shug Passway goes between two trees.
We finally come out of the redwood park.
10443. To our pleasant surprise, the trail comes out close to our Best Western Motel. We are traveling on Howland Hill Road. At a T-intersection we get on Elk Valley Road. At another T-intersection, we turn left onto US 101 going south. We are headed to the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, another of the four redwood parks in the area.
10455. Stopped at a Vista Point. Then we stopped at a beach. Two big rocks dominate the ocean beach scene.
10467. We get off at the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. The road is paved.
10475. Reached the visitor center at the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. We buy quite a few souvenirs and gifts at the place. We slowly walk around the immediate vicinity.
10479. The workers at the visitors center advised us to go further south to see some of the carving pieces they have available. We made our way down to Davison Road to see the free-roaming elk. We county at least eleven elk there.
10482. Went to Orick but were not interested in what they had available.
We started north to return to Crescent.
We stopped at a place called Trees of mystery in Klamath. We bought some more souvenirs and some delicious fudge. The real attractions are the huge statues of Paul Bunyan and his ox named Babe. It’s a sight worth seeing.
10508. Wilson Creek Beach?
10521. Returned to Crescent City.
We went out looking for the lighthouse in the Harbor. At the 3rd Street Access we got close to the lighthouse. Rosemary took alot of photos.
Then we went to Battery Point Vista Area.
Went over to Harbor Pier Park. Some people walked out the jetty marked as Danger! "Deadly waves at any time – jetty unsafe for walking."
Rosemary took a lot of photos of the seals in the harbor, as well as the seagulls.
We ate dinner at Taco Bell, and boy was it ever crowded in there.
Day 4. Crescent City, CA to Florence, OR.
May 20, 2017.
10527 odometer. We are on our way to coastal Oregon. There is lots of fog today and not much traffic.
10548. We enter Oregon. Take a photo of the welcome to Oregon sign.
Crissy Field State Park.
10555. The fog disappears all of sudden.
10556. Harris Beach State Park. Bird Island is the biggest in Oregon. The beach is a bit foggy.
10557, mm 355.
Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor.
10560. Lone Ranch and Lone Ranch Beach.
10563. Whale’s Head Island View Point.
10566. A little inlet here.
10568. Arch Rock.
10573. South Pistol River. Here we can see waves in the beach grass caused by the strong winds.
10574. Pistol River North.
10576. There is a mass of rocks on the beach.
On the sides of the road there are green rocks.
10579. Cape Sebastian South Side.
10583. Gold Beach. The town is pretty big.
Rogue River bridge is a big bridge.
10603. Pull-off pictures at Arizona Beach.
10605, mm 309.
10610, mm 304.
10639. Bandon State Natural Area. Lots of rocks off Beach Loop Road.
Face Rock Wayside Viewpoint.
Go over Coquille River and then a left turn into Bullards Beach State Park.
10647. Bullard Lighthouse, three miles in, 3 miles out.
10652. We turn onto Seven Devils Road. It’s not worth it. Dead end.
10671, mm 250.
10682. Coos Bay
We stay at Best Western in Florence, Oregon. We took a photo from the Best Western dining room looking across the river onto the fair.
Day 5. Florence, OR to Astoria, OR. May 21, 2017.
10741 odometer. Heading to Astoria.
10746, mm 186.
Near mm 181. Photo with a lake.
Mm180. Heavy fog in and out.
10753. Sea Lion Caves. Very foggy. We did not take the tour.
10754. We didn’t take the trail to see the Heceta Lighthouse. We took a photo of a white house.
Lots of birds on big rocks.
10755. Big Creek River.
10760. Long view of the beach. More photos of Tokatee Kloochman Beach.
Before mm 171. 10 Mile Creek.
10762. Brays Point.
10763. Bob’s Creek State Park.
10764. Neptune South Beach.
10765. Cooks Chasm. The Spouting Horn, tide pools and a big blow hole. Big bangs are heard when waves go under the overhang of the rocks and hits the back of the little space and then is squirted out with a big bang.
10766. Cape Perpetua Visitor Center. We went into the center and found a wonderful display of common blooming plants with names:
Cow Parsnip (Heracleum lanatum)
Arctic Lupine (Lupinus arcticus)
Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)
Salal (Gaultheria shallon)
Common Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
Common Field Mustard (Brassica rapa var. rapa)
False Lily of the Valley (Maianthemum dilatum)
Scotch Broom (Cystisus scoparius)
Smith’s Fairybells (Disporum smithii)
Fringecup (Tellima grandiflora)
English Daisy (Bellis perennis)
Trillium (Trillium ovatum)
Oregon Iris (Iris tenax)
Pacific Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum)
Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus)
Himalayan Blackberry (Rubus armeniacus)
Black Twinberry (Lonicera involucrata)
Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa)
Manroot (Marah sabaceus).
10776, mm 157. Waldport.
Alsea Bay Bridge is a big bridge.
10782. Seal Rock, but no seals. It’s a huge rock with lots of seagulls.
Yuquina Head Outstanding Natural Area.
10796. Visitors Center. Bought some souvenirs.
10799, mm 136.
10825, mm 105.
10840, mm 89.
10856, mm 72.
10869, mm 60.
10875, mm 53.
Rockaway Beach, a long stretch of strip development.
10893. Short Sands Beach. A very busy beach.
Hug Point. Lots and lots of parked cars along the road.
10899, mm 33. Arcadia Beach.
North Silver Point Rock.
South Rock is called Jockey Cap Rock.
Seaside is a busy beach too.
Stay at Best Western in Astoria.
Day 6. Astoria, OR to Aberdeen, WA.
May 22, 2017.
Aberdeen is just 77 miles north of Astoria, so we used most of the day around Astoria.
Pass 10928, Fort Stevens.
We head for Fort Clatsop.
10934. The fort was the winter encampment for the Corps of Discovery led by Lewis and Clark from December 1805 to March 1806.
Of course, we looked at the vegetation at the fort. We spotted trillium, a huge Sitka spruce, bleeding hearts, red alder (Alnus rubra), false lily of the valley, lots of moss, thimbleberry and western azalea (Rhododendron occidentale).
Saw a panel about the Fort to Sea Trail. The trail goes southwest from Fort Clatsop to Sunset Beach State Recreation Area.
The reconstructed Fort Clatsop shows how small the fort was. Two rows of small adjoining cabins face each other, only separated by a small gathering area. The rows are also connected by a front gate and a back gate. It’s a really efficient fort using very little land. There are other areas around the fort used for other purposes, such as a big out-door kitchen.
We enjoyed seeing the fort. We bought some souvenirs and gifts at the Visitor Center.
We decide to take Route 30 that goes parallel with the Columbia River all the way to the Louis and Clark Bridge going over to the north side of the Columbia River, where we will take Route 4 west nearly back to Astoria. I wanted to follow along the river that Lewis and Clark took to reach the Pacific Ocean.
10973. Rt 30 to Marshland River to see at least some parts of the river. There were no river pull-offs.
10986. We see a small part of Mt. St. Helens.
There were no viewing places of the Columbia River along Route 30.
10993. Route 433. We go north over the Louis and Clark Bridge. There we pick up Rt 4 west paralleling the Columbia River.
Mm 52. We turn left for Rt 4 west.
11007. There is a pull-off near Mill Creek River.
Mm 38. Climbing to the town of Cathlamet.
11024, mm 31
11026, mm 33. We turned left into the Skamokawa Vista Park. We take quite a few photos of the Columbia River.
Find lots of Scotch Broom along Route 4.
W. Valley Creek
Mm 27. Virtually deserted up here.
11036. Gray’s River.
Rosburg Heritage Sight.
Mm 12. Deep River.
Mm 6, Nassel river.
We pick up Rt. 401 south.
11062. We pass by the Astoria Bridge.
Mm 2, Route 101.
We pass Fort Columbia.
11065, mm 3.
11077. We went to the Visitor Center. Here they have the whole history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition laid out. They have a gift shop but it wasn’t open this day. We were disappointed.
11123. South Bend is bigger than expected.
Mm 125 to 128. Town of Raymond.
We had a bit of a hard time finding the Best Western.
We ate at Dairy Queen.
Day 7. Aberdeen to Olympic National Park. May 23, 2017.
Go over the Hoquium River.
Bear right going on US 101.
Little Hoquium River.
Mm 89, Rain Forest.
11195 Olympic National Forest.
We see one of the snow covered mountains of the large number of mountains.
11201. Olympic National Park.
Quinault South Recreation Area.
11205. Falls Creek Campground.
We drove up to Lake Quinault. Before getting to Amanda Park, we turned right to take S. Shore
Road along Lake Quinault south. Took quite a lot of photos. We photographed the Lake Quinault Lodge here.
We saw three named trees by the Lake Quinault Lodge: Douglas Fir, Sitka Spruce, and Western cedar.
Mm 138 to mm 142.
Lots of Scotch broom along both sides of the road.
Lower Queets Valley.
Mm 148. 60 mph.
11231, Mm 150.
11235. South Beach.
11236, mm 155.
Pull-off for beach photos. Unusual cloud formations.
Big Cedar Road.
11244, mm 163.
11246. Ruby Beach. I liked this beach the best. We even walked on the beach. There are lots of drift wood and drift trees on the beach. There are also lots of rocks in the water. One of the big rocks has two small arches.
Mm 165 and 166.
Mm 168 thru 178.
11264 Hoh River. Lots of driftwood.
We head down the Hoh Road. It’s 18 miles to the Visitor Center of the Hoh Rain Forest.
Pass a gift store and the Hard Rain Café.
Go over a bridge.
More views of the Hoh River.
Over another bridge.
Mm 10 and 11.
Mm 12. Hoh River.
Pass a pond on the left.
Entrance station. Have 6 more miles to go.
Mm 18. Reach the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center.
The rainforest has a lot of moss on its trees. When we were there, there was no trace of rain.
The forest looked a bit dry. We walked parts of the paths, but we noticed that there was a lot of repetition of the same vegetation. It was still very interesting.
Passed through the town of Fork and got some gasoline for the car.
11303. Bogachiel State Park.
Now we drive past Port Royal to get to the next down of Sequim. We stay at Quality Inn for three nights.
Day 8. Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park and then a Trip West to Neah Bay. May 24, 2017.
11379 odometer. We are heading out to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park
Mm 10. Take photos.
Mm 15. We see snow on the side of the road.
Mm17. Hurricane Ridge, going back down.
Now heading to Neah Bay.
11435. From US 101 going west we take Route 112 heading west.
We go over Elwah River.
Salt Creek and Crescent Beach.
Joyce, a town.
We go parallel with Juan de Fuca Strait, which is north from us.
Pillar Point is west in the distance.
Mm 34, 33, 32 to 31.
Pillar Point Recreation Area.
Mm 30, 29, 28. 27 to 26.
We spot sheep ahead.
11472, mm 24.
Mm 21 to 18.
Mm 17 to 16.
Mm12 to 10.
Kydaka Point is north of us.
Smell of decomposing kelp. Took pictures of part of the shore of British Columbia, Canada.
Open area to see the beach.
Welcome to the Whale Trail at Shipwreck.
11491. Weird rock on side of the beach road.
11493, mm 3.
Stop for water photos, east and west.
Bullman Beach Inn.
Snow Creek Fishing Access.
We reach the Makah Indian Reservation.
11498. We go into the museum to get an access pass. Rosemary was asking the director a lot of questions and he answered them all. As is to be expected, the Native American was bitter about what the white men did to his tribe. Currently, the tribe is losing native members because of the greater work opportunities in the white world. I bought a book on his native tribe and had to quickly go through the fine museum because it was getting late and we had a long trek back to Sequim.
11585. Back in Sequim.
Day 9. Sequim to Port Townsend. May 25, 2017
John Wayne Marina.
Seguim Bay State Park.
11592. Blyn, a town.
Native American Cedar Casino.
North Olympic Peninsula.
Diamond Point Recreation Area.
Mm 278 to 281.
Discovery Bay town.
11611. Junction with Rt. 20. We take a left. Port Townsend is 14 miles away and Gort Worden is 16 miles.
Mm 3 on Rt.20.
Anderson State Park.
Fort Flagler State Park.
Old Fort Townsend Road, leads to Ft. Townsend State Park.
11621. Townsend State Park. We turn left to go downhill.
By the beach we see Beach Rosa (Rosa rugosa). We also got photos of an eagle sitting in a tree by the beach.
Port Townsend is 4 miles away.
Glen Cove Industrial Park. A factory spews waste from its chimney.
Downtown Port Townsend. We enjoyed exploring the downtown area and the marina.
Castle Hill Mall.
11627. We bought some souvenirs at PS Express, which runs the ferry boats in the area.
11630 We travel north to Fort Warden at Point Wilson to see the fort and take photos of the beach there.
We start back to Sequim. We stop at the Kah Tai Lagoon
11671. Back in Sequim.
Day 10. Sequim to Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle. May 26, 2017.
We heard all kinds of warnings about the traffic to the Sea-Tac Airport south of Seattle. So we left around 9:30 a.m.
We only used US 101 for the start of our trip.
We really had easy sailing until we got to Tacoma. That was slow going indeed. But once we got clear of all that, we had fast going.
We used another Best Western, this one close by the airport.
Day 11. We Fly Back Home.