Our first week on the road

July 10, 2018  •  26 Comments


Port OrfordBattle rock park

Our first stop after leaving Portland - Humbug Mountain State Park. Nice camp site near the coast with interesting loud neighbors, sometimes it is hard to overhear a conversation about how carbon 14 dating is fake and the world is created 6,000 years ago without objecting. Soren managed to keep his big mouth shut! :). We enjoyed a scenic hike to the peak – 1748 ft – This is one of the hikes where the journey is better than the destination. At the summit tall tress blocked the view of the ocean and the coast line. Humbug MountainView from the Coastal trail


Not to despair, there were lots of beautiful view points along the Samuel H Boardman Scenic Corridor. Every stop revealed a different stunning view (but they were all very windy!).  Boardman was the founder of the State Parks and 2018 marks the 100th anniversary!

  Overlook at Redwood Highway 101Pretty flowers at one of our many stops Samuel H. Boardman Scenic CorridorLone Ranch Beach

Our second stop was at the Alfred A. Loeb State Park. A quiet, beautiful campsite with easy access to the Chetco river, perfect for a swim, canoeing or kayaking.  We however took it easy and rested in the shade. 


We spent the 4th of July in the Redwoods National Park – no fireworks this year for us. These trees are incredibly tall; they are between 400-600 years old and each has its own living system. Enjoyed a 2.5-mile hike on the Trillium Fall Trail. In that same area, we could can see Elks in a viewing area grassing the prairie. Great place for some fantastic hiking and definitely a place we need to go back.  Afterwards, we drove through parts of the Avenue of the Giants.

Elk in Redwood National ParkWho's viewing who Trillium falls trailClimbing the trees


The next day, we started going Southeast and made a stop in Sacramento to visit with our dear friend Susan. On our way in, the car started to make a funny sound and we decided it needed to be checked. Just before we left, we had the car in for service, so this was unexpected. It turned out that the bearing in the water pump was giving out, unfortunate repair, but we were lucky not to be stranded and enjoyed Susan’s sweet hospitality.  She took us to the Effie Yeaw Nature Canter Preserve. The bird watching was great and Soren got some pictures of wild turkeys and yellow billed Magpie.

  Yellow billed magpie (Pica nutalli)Only to be seen in California Wild turkey in Effie Yeaw Nature Canter PreserveThanksgiving dinner?

Once the car was repaired, we made our way toward the Sequoia National Park. Did a small 1.5-mile hike to the Moro Rock. Stunning view after the approximate 600 steps up the rock. Then a small walk through the giants, before visiting General Sherman, the largest tree in the world. We learned that the difference between the redwoods and the Sequoia. Info taken from the park brochure: 


Redwoods (North California) = Taller and more slender coast redwood, “Sequoia sempervirens” is more conifer-like in profile. Grows naturally only in a narrow strip along the Pacific Coast.


The Giant Sequoia (South California) = has a massive trunk, huge stout branches, and cinnamon-colored bark. Also called “Sierra Redwood”, “Big Tree” and it’s scientific name is “ Sequoiadendron gigantuem”. Grows naturally only on the west slope of California’s Sierra Nevada range.



Moro RockClimbing the rock.


General Sherman  

Finally, it was time to leave the cooler temperatures of the high elevation and slowly make our way to Death Valley! Wow – it’s beautiful and holly molly it’s hot!! We arrived early evening with the hope to miss the peak heat, but the breeze was still hot enough to fry an egg. Joshua TreeOn the way to death valley DescendingDown the valley

Cool blueBut burning hot air.

The next evening we went back to do the Artist Drive, Zabriskie Point, Badwater Basin and check out the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. The Ubehebe Crater was a 3 hour drive round trip so after all the driving and what we have ahead of us, we concluded to save that for next time. 123 FNot a minute later it was 124. Self portraitOn artist drive Artist paletteAt sunset Artist drive YellowZabriskie point at sunset. Sunset at Zabriskie point


Good thing you got the water pump fixed. Looks like you are having a ball!
Veronica Bishop(non-registered)
Great pics, you two! Thanks for taking us along for the ride. Miss you!
Damon Hess(non-registered)
Hi Soren and Vanessa, What outstanding photos you two take. Looks like a fun trip -- except for the 124 degrees at Furnace Creek Visitor Center. Well named.
Pictures are amazing... Great trip ! thanks for sharing those wonderful moments !!
Bisous !
Lisa et Harry Chafetz(non-registered)
Vanessa, Soren,
Vanessa, Soren.
Je trouve votre 1 ère partie de voyage belle, fascinante...avec en plus des retrouvailles amicales: chaleureux!
« The Death Valley » est impressionnante peut- être belle ms me semble si ..désolée.,
De bien belles photos.

Bon vent et au plaisir de vous suivre!



Yellow billed, wild turkeys ( on en avait ds notre jardin à NY.
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