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California Road Trip

Author: Barbara Henshall
Date of Trip: September 2012

Flew into San Francisco 28th September and enjoyed our first night at the Doubletrre at the airport we arrived too late to travel. We collected our car from the airport the following day and set off for our trip of Northern California. We drove to Red Bluff and stayed at the Best Western which was very comfortable. There was a Koi Carp pond next to,the swimming pool and an aviary as well. The breakfast was good and set us up for our day round Lassen Volcanic State Park. There are three types of volcanoes in the park. We walked to the bubbling mud pots this was a moderate walk so the guide said, but my legs ached the day after as it was very undulating. As it was Sunday there were plenty of people to interact with.

We stayed the Bestwestern in Redding for two nights taking the spectacular Mount Shasta area. We walked to Burney Falls and enjoyed the peace and tranquility of the area. There were fishermen stood in the river, the water was cold, so how they do it beyond me.

We drove from Redding on the 299 to Arcata, a very interesting and scenic drive. We paced ourselves and it took 3 and a half hours to drive a 141 miles as the road has numerous hairpin bends.

We stayed at the Best Western in Arcata for one night to rest up after our drive from Redding. The hotel was located near to shops and eateries. There is a local bus to take you to the centre is Arcata.

The following morning we set off along the Pacific Highway. We drove through the Avenue of Giants a 35 mile drive through amazing Redwoods. This is truly spectacular. The sheer height of the trees is just awesome. We drove to Fort Bragg for a two night stay. The drive along the highway was very challenging, but exciting.

Whilst in Fort Bragg we called into MacKerricher State Park. The park goes down to the beach and we encountered seals wallowing on the beach. Along another walk on the boardwalk in the park we came across a deer eating from a tree. He watched us whilst eating. There was also other wildlife, squirrels and birds. A lovely place to spend some time and there is no charge to enter the park.

Fort Bragg is what I would call old town America. The downtown area is quaint and interesting. We ate at an Oriental restaurant, very brisk service to a varied cliental.

On the road from Fort Bragg we stopped off to see the Pygmy Forest. We trekked 2 and a half miles each way to see small stunted Redwood trees that have been there hundreds of years. They were petrified trees. There is a boardwalk to walk through the forest.

We also called in at Mendocino on our way out of Fort Bragg. This again has an interesting old town America feel to it.
There was a store that sold clam chowder to take away, it was delicious..The stores in Mendocino sold all sorts of collectables.
We continued on our way to Rohnert Park travelling on a road that was not suitable for trailers or trucks. This was a road that left a lot to be desired. Some parts were extremely hair raising, but added to the excitement of the road trip.
We stayed at the Bestwestern in Rohnert Park which was very comfortable.

We returned to San Francisco to return the rental car and fly to Las Vegas and have some serious R&R after 8 nights on the road. Would recommend our trip to anyone.

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