Exploring San Francisco

Today we explored San Francisco with Cam & Erin. We started off riding the train from Pacifica into the city.

The girls were glad to see Cam again.

The day started off with a laugh. At the parking garage for the train we got confused about how to get to the trains. We got on the elevator and pressed the 1* button, knowing that we were already on that level. We immediately got off and walked about 10 feet to the station entrance.

Rose was ready for the train ride.
Eventually we made it into the city and were ready to explore.
We waited in line for a long time to take a cable car into the heart of town. These nice folks from Kansas City were behind us and we visited with them a lot.
After maybe 2 hours, we finally reached the very front of the line.
We got great seats on the cable car and the older kids got to hang off the edge. At one point I think they almost collided with some mirrors and they figured out they had to hang close.
We got off the cable car at the bottom of Lombard St and then walked to the top.
After that we headed down to Fisherman’s Wharf. We loved all of the street performers, including this magician.
Erin planned a visit to this cool antique arcade, where the kids had a lot of fun.
Lucia like to watch the dancers in this old-time automated puppet display. So did I.
This one-man band totally rocked it.
We headed to pier 39 to see the sea lions, and Pier 39.
After that we enjoyed Gelato in the park in Little Italy. It was nice to rest.

After Little Italy we walked to Chinatown, which was just a few blocks away. We were about 5 blocks in when Erin realized that she had lost her wallet. We retraced our steps back to the park. Then Erin received a facebook message from Pedro Jose, our new hero!

Pedro Jose found Erin’s wallet and met us in the park to return it.
We were all smiles on the bus back to the train back to our car.
Even Rose likes the bus.
Rose does not like the train. It was too loud.
The kids were glad to be home in time to get in some swimming before bed.

More Fires

Our time in Montana was impacted by the the forest fire in Glacier National Park and now that we are in California the fires have returned. In both situations we were unlucky in that the fires flared up just a few days before our arrival. The California wildfires have been devastating to many communities and we are fortunate that for us they are just an inconvenience. 

For our drive from Crescent City to San Francisco we were planning on just going down Hwy 101. Due to the fires we decided to go around, taking I-5. This added just a couple of hours to our trip, but it also meant getting in to SF at rush hour, rather than in the afternoon. 

We did arrive in time to get settled, eat dinner, and get the little girls to bed before the boys and I went to the airport to pick up Erin and Cam. They were actually supposed to arrive in the afternoon, but because of the smoke their flights were adjusted several times. We were thrilled when they were finally on the ground in San Francisco!

Crazy Riders
Smoke over San Francisco
Beautiful Sunset

Pebble Beach

Today we visited Pebble Beach, where our campground friends mentioned that we could go to look for cool rocks, agates, specifically. It took us a minute to find the spot, but once we did the mining commenced. We did find some cool pebbles and sea glass. 

Susan & Rose
Rob becoming one with his inner Sea Lion.

Stout Grove

The biggest tree we could find in Stout Grove. It was about 20ft in diameter.

Today we did the hike that I have been looking for since we have been here. About 30 minutes from our campground is Stout Grove, an old-growth Redwood grove that has been spared by the logging industry. It was just a 1/2 mile hike, but it took us nearly 2 hours because of the beauty and fun of the old and fallen trees. 

Andrew’s 14th Birthday

Today we celebrated Andrew’s 14th birthday. This morning he opened our present, a new camera. He has been excited about taking pictures on our trip and we found a nice point & shoot camera for him to use. 

In the afternoon we went to Trees a Mystery, a big-tree park about 30 minutes south of where we are staying. Andrew was really torn between that and bowling. I think he made the right choice. 

For dinner we had Skyline. That was followed by a carmel-explosion cake that he and Susan concocted. It was really good. 

Andrew at 14 continues to be a pleasant, positive presence in our lives. He is enthusiastic about life and embraces new opportunities openly. His hobbies and interests remain largely the same: music, sports, games, reading. On the trip he has been maintaining his own blog, which is interesting and I think has him thinking about things a little differently. 

Favorite song: heavydirtysoul by Twenty-One Pilots
Favorite color: Orange
Favorite food: Skyline
Favorite band:Twenty-One Pilots
Favorite book: Harry Potter 7
Favorite sport: Soccer
Favorite movie: Jurassic Park

Crescent City

This afternoon we explored the beaches around Crescent City. First we hit Crescent Beach, just south of town. The waves are compressed here and it is a popular surfing spot. We hung out on the beach for a while watching the surfers. Then we headed to Point St. George, an old archaeological site where there is interesting beach access and some hiking trails.

Watching the surfers
Looking at a dead starfish. Elliot has been searching for a starfish that we can bring home to dry out. The first one he found was still alive. This one was missing a limb.
Looking for treasures

Seaside -> Redwoods

Today we continued our drive down Highway 101. It took us nearly all day to get from Seaside, OR to Crescent City, CA. We are staying in a campground full of beautiful redwood trees, just minutes from several state parks, and about an hour from Redwood National Park. 

Lewis & Clark National Historical Park

One thing that I think is really cool about Seaside is that it is the area where Lewis & Clark finished their journey. Today we paid a visit to Lewis & Clark National Historical Park, which is really a collection of several national and state parks in the area. There is a great visitors center at Ft. Clatsop, which is a replica of the fort that the Corps of Discovery build for their winter stay. 

Lewis & Clark embody many of the same principles that are part of our lives as well, especially on this trip. They loved nature and being outside. They liked to explore new places and learn about the plants and animals. They also met many new people and connected with many different cultures.