California - Nov 4 - Nov 15

It's been 3 months since we departed so we thought we'd compile some thoughts, surprises, and most common question before this update starts:

What is it like going on an RV Trip?

Anna: "It's very bumpy"

Scariest Moment:

JAK: "Climbing down from The Chief in Squamish, BC.  I cried little tears but no one could see them because it was raining."

Anna: "When I threw up"  (that also falls into the Surprise category for Mommy)

Mommy: "When I accidentally crossed the border without a passport"

Daddy:  "When that guy pretending to be a tree jumped out at me in San Francisco. Who begs for money like that?!"  ˛

Favorite things:

JAK: "Hiking, going to the beach, waffles and pancakes. Sometimes we just sit in front of the space heater and relax"

Least favorite things:

Katie: "It takes a long time to drive in the jeep and I can't lay down when I'm tired"

JAK: "When I threw up" (ya, us too)

What is the bathroom like?

Katie: "Well, there is a number 1 flush and a number 2 flush.  And Daddy has to go out with his gloves and take care of it"

Reoccurring Comments:

"Jason, I thought when I saw you, you'd have a Grizzly Adam's beard"


Before leaving Harris Beach, we were joined by good friends Patricia, Mat and their super dog Abbey.  It was a fun couple of days and evenings visiting with them and we hope to meet up with them again as they are traveling a similar path (but they started in Quebec!)

Mat has restored their 1974 Winnie and it looks amazing.

Along with learning to crochet, wearing the dog out (or maybe it was the opposite), and walking the beach, we were given front row seats to a bonfire performance by Mat.  He is a talented artist.  He is performing at various venues during their trip through the US.  Hearing his original material on an acoustic guitar was like a back stage pass to "Canada's got Talent"!  Sorry, iPhone takes good pics, just not in the dark.

It's never too late to carve your fall 'punkin'!

Alas it was time to leave OR.  If it had not been for the cool, wet weather we probably could have stayed...a long time.

The CA redwoods start at the moment you cross the boarder. Driving into the redwoods with the 8' x 4' RV glass windshield was like going to the theatre v. watching it at home on the DVD.  You feel a lot more comfortable at home, but the experience doesn't compare!!

One caution about going inside the trees - bees may live there too. Shortly after this picture we found ourselves sprinting back to Big Country and Katie was stung 3 times. She was a tough cookie.

It's a humbling experience being in the redwoods.  They can stand 300+ feet and can be over 1000 years old. If you don't believe in God, come sit in silence for a moment in these trees. You'll hopefully feel what we felt looking up - it's awesome.  It is also a powerful way to teach the importance of managed conversation to your children.

Eager to find warmer weather we continued our trip south to Santa Rosa. Camping in CA is a whole different experience from OR.  In OR, for $22 a night, we had ocean views, green grass, and playgrounds.  In CA, for $30 a night, we found a lovely gravel lot, high chain link fence, and a ever present smell of country-fair barn animals....and some families might even find themselves "smuggling" their children in because they charge per child...for what???  Are they afraid the child will play in their gravel lot??:)

But....there is plenty of fun to be had in CA. Jason has been fortunate to be able to hunt the MN deer hunting opener with his family in northern MN for 28 consecutive years.  Traditions are important in so many ways, but this trip is so special to us it couldn't be interrupted!  So in honor of missing deer camp in MN, we went "crab hunting" in Bodega bay.

Who says you can't fish and do school at the same time?

And Jason, Jak and I played cribbage (a tradition at deer camp).

We can't take the RV on highway 1, but we plan to drive as much of it as we can with the jeep and leap frog using 101.  This is the area north of Bodega bay.

10 years ago we took a trip to Sonoma.  At the time, we purchased 10 bottles of wine and enjoyed one each year on our anniversary. We hoped to return when the last bottle was gone and feel blessed to be back as planned.  We did our share of wineries with our friends in OR, but we visited our favorites at Simi and Twomey. Combined with our OR and BC wine, we have our next 10 years stored in our climate controlled RV.  The "climate" controls everything inside this thing:)

We went to Sonoma and took a tour of the Mission San Francisco Solano. We plan to visit a number of the missions as we head south.

For Veteran days, everyone was excited to see San Francisco. And what a great day it was.

Golden Gate Park

San Francisco National Cemetery

Lombard street!

We thought it was a rule you had to wait until after Thanksgiving to put up your Christmas decorations!


Hyde Street by Trolly

And a long walk that included the life size Gingerbread house in the Fairmont hotel and China town.

We decided to head from Santa Rosa to the town of Watsonville, which is 15 miles from Santa Cruz and 30 miles from Monterey.  But first, a stop to see one of our favorite companies and friends.

All is well as we arrived Pinto Lake County park.  This is a new experience as this is a small local park that is open to the public from 7am until sunset.  It is visited by local children which means new friends.  JAK found a friend to play Pokemon.

Recent Quotes:
Katie while crossing the border: "Here we come California!!!"
1 hour later:
Daddy: "Katie, what do you think of California?"
Katie:  "Good. [pause] But this looks a lot like Oregon" [someone expected hills full of gold]

We think the cat is contemplating escape again.
 "I can smell my freedom"

"If these dang paws were just a wee bit longer..."

May God bless you and your families!