We are close to tonight’s destination, like 4-5 hours driving time, so we decide on another detour. This one will take us back through the Redwoods, across the 299 to Redding, up Hwy 5 through Weed, to Eugene where we turn west on the 126 to Florence, then north on the 101 to arrive at Carl Washburne State Park where we will be spending the night in a yurt after listening to the couple next to us argue – about what…I doubt they remember either and it just made us appreciate our ability to relax and enjoy the moment.
The Redwoods were beautiful and green, the Trinity National Forest just as scenic the second time through, and Mt. Shasta was hidden in clouds and covered in snow. I have now been through Eureka and Yreka – one of which is only in California. The 126 offered me another view of Oregon and more Gorse than my eyes have ever seen – a bright yellow flower best seen in bunches in full sunshine. And though they look soft and inviting to lay on they are a thorny evergreen shrub.
We stopped along the coast to get pictures of the sunset (and so did the guy behind us that stopped to take this same photo) – and good thing we did because after checking in with the camp host and driving across the street to the beach and running through the trees we had seen the last of the sun for the day, though the muted sky still gave a nice color to the reflections on the beach, but not enough to get a good photo of the dew drops on the pink flowers on the way back to the car without using flash.
Tonight would be another warm meal for dinner, but where should we go at 9:00 pm on a Thursday. Our city choices were 12, 20, and 35 miles away – we chose, Florence, the closest – that would make our total mileage for the day around 700. We arrive at Abby’s Pizza at 9:30 and order a pizza with pineapple and peppers and some fried potato slices. With full bellies and some pizza to-go we head back to the yurt. There is a bunk-bed and a futon for sleeping and a table with two chairs.
I’m used to sleeping on the top bunk – from toddler to teenager when the sis and I finally split our beds and slept on opposite sides of the room. Tonight will be no different. It will be like all those summer camps I never went to. As a kid we camped out on our porch, then our trampoline, and when we got older and braver we finally camped at the East Rock – a scenic view on the edge of our 20-acre farm. My love of camping would grow from this and now I sleep in forests, deserts, and in a yurt near the beach.
There are plenty of windows on the walls, but the one I like most is the skylight – though not many stars can be seen through the trees canopy that has grown above. There is also a heater so I don’t have to worry about being snug in my sleeping bag, but I realize I wouldn’t mind a bigger camping pillow. Currently mine is just enough for sleeping in the office – something you place between your neck and shoulder. My dad’s rolls up just as small and is more plane/train size and more supportive of people rolling in their sleep.
When I move I have to find my pillow and put it back under my neck, but after adjusting I sleep well – so well that my dad brings it to my attention in the morning. He realizes how much more of a morning person I am after not dealing with a night of being walked on and barked at – he speaks of how much my dogs interrupt my sleep pattern and my overall travel schedule – worrying about feeding and walking them, having their noise interrupt the peace of the day, and wondering which parks and hotels they’re allowed in. This is something I had gotten used to, but now I can appreciate the break from my ordinary – that’s one thing vacations are supposed to be about.