The Redwoods

After a lovely early morning in our Umpqua yurt, we headed back to the road for a long driving day. En route we stopped for a real breakfast. This breakfast also contributed to my weight gain. It was over-the-top delicious.

There were lots of logging mills, and the “Pancake Mill” was right across from one. We just randomly stopped in and found out upon entering it was an award winning local favorite.

After our very long breakfast, we tried to make time and get to the Redwoods in time to see something. Unfortunately, I neglected to take the scenic drive turn-off, and so we actually missed the famous drive. By the time I realized our mistake, it was too late. We did head back six miles to do a hike in the Lady Bird Johnson grove.

In a spirit of full disclosure, I was in a very bad mood when we began the hike. I was mad that we had missed the Redwoods drive. But Abe is so optimistic and cheerful, and I ended up loving this particular hike a lot.

I loved this hike because I got one-on-one time with each of the children, and the one-on-one time felt very precious and meaningful in that peaceful setting. Abe spent the hike playing with the kids, and I know they loved that too.

Ammon learned to pose from the girls. This is what he started doing whenever we popped out the iPhone.

We didn’t entirely miss all of the Redwood drives. We did drive through Humboldt State Forest, and that gave us a feeling that we had experienced some extended Redwood majesty. The drive ended with a drive through a Redwood tree. As hokey as it was, this was the kids’ (or at least the girls’) favorite part of the day.

Driving through the tree.

After we drove through the tree, we hightailed it on Highway 1 all the way to Mendocino. By this point, it was dark and misty. Also the highway isĀ insanely twisty–as in, for hours all we did was turn repeatedly. In the dark. With the ocean drop-off on one side of the road. And deer all around.

This is where we had a miracle. As we were starting in on the craziest stretch, we noticed two cars conferring in a pull-off next the road. I don’t like driving in front of cars, so I let them pass. For the next several hours, these two cars lighted the way in the dark at the absolute perfect pace–and the lead car spotted all the deer, stopped, shined a light on the animals, and continued carefully after each encounter. It felt like God’s hand, especially since in that time we did not see one other single car on the road. I felt so, so blessed. Eventually, I let Abe have a turn, and we arrived at The Inn at Schoolhouse Creek in Mendocino sometime around midnight.

Originally, we had planned to “glamp” that night at a kid-friendly glampground, but as I studied our itinerary, I realized we would be arriving in the middle of the night, and I didn’t dare risk camping when we’d have to transition Ammon from the car to the crib. As it turned out, he transitioned fine–but I was so happy we booked the inn. There was some sort of deal on, and I loved the look of the inn online.

In person, after a harrowing drive and a long day of driving before that, the inn was absolutely dreamy. We had a sweet little cabin all to ourselves, and it was cozy, beautiful, and even had a darling little stove fireplace warming everything up. After we put the kids down, we relaxed in the large jacuzzi and unwound from the crazy drive. My ankles were basically balloons, so the bath was a lifesaver. We’ll try glamping some other time.


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