Breakfast was light as we wanted to finish up our supplies. Two eggs, seed bread with Justin’s Almond Butter, organic peaches, and a greek yogurt. We struck camp by 900 AM so we could hit a few scenic drives on the way out of Jedediah Smith Park.
Howland Hill Road was the name of the drive. Howland Hill sounds like a DJ and that was appropriate as we had a pretty strong radio signal and found a coastal station playing “rockabilly hour.”
The road weaved through trees then crossed a bridge over the Eel River into the unpaved road we would be taking for the next six miles. The Stray Cats “18 Miles to Memphis” came through with an occasional crackle of static. The potholed and washboard road reminded me of the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland but without the family from Nebraska sitting next to us.
When the scenery around us turned more from Endor to Dagobah, Dad and I turned to Yoda impressions. Which eventually devolved into what my Dad called, “Yoda does porn.”
DAD: Force my lightsaber in you, I must.
ME: Luke, kiss your sister you did. That’s weird shit, bro.
Rockabilly hour turned to a Brenda Lee interview where she was talking about her favorite Elvis songs.
We stopped at a grove of trees, which means it’s a concentration of redwoods usually named after a white dude that donated to the park. We walked down the trail towards a creek where we found a few benches.
On the second bench we sat down and I put on a 5-minute meditation on my Calm app, called “Returning to Now”. I listened to the to the babbling brook below us and tried to focus on the moment while mosquitoes buzzed around my head.
We continued the drive, passing a few other cars and waving at them, because that’s what you do on rural 1.5 lane roads. By the time we got to the other side of the forest, the rockabilly station had faded away and we were back to Crescent City and its row of mechanic shops and Indian casinos.
We were headed South to Mendocino County. We had already seen this corridor of the 101 so we passed the time playing Kevin & Bean podcasts until we got to the Avenue of the Giants.
The Avenue of the Giants is a strip of road that weaves through tall trees and goes through small towns while paralleling the 101. It was nice to see more groves and wonder about the people that lived in these small population 100 towns, but by this point we were all treed out and wanted to hit Fort Bragg.
We peeled off the 101 and took the 1 towards the coast.
In Fort Bragg, we got a motel near Main St and I made sure to pick which one, after my dad chose that stab motel in Eureka. The lady at the front desk recommended D’Aurelios for pizza so we headed over there.
It was a neighborhood pizzeria much like you’d see in an 80s movie where the teenagers sipped out of waxy red cups that read “Enjoy Coke.” The TV had on a UCLA women’s softball game (go Bruins!) and we watched that over a veggie pizza and shrimp pasta.
After living outside for the past two days, we decided to stay in our hotel for the night and enjoy the documentary Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as reported by journalist Megan Fox.