It’s already been a month since we started our travel adventures!! Time sure does fly!
I mean, it doesn’t exactly feel like we have traveled that far, since Fort Bragg, CA is only 180 miles and just under 4 hours away from our former home in Chico, but we have almost traveled 1000 miles already!
Doug and Katie really enjoy Fort Bragg so it had to make it onto the travel itinerary. But it was a bit of a journey, so we used our Harvest Host membership and boondocked at Six Sigma Ranch and Winery in Lower Lake. It was beautiful and they were very friendly. Doug chatted with the vice president and we learned his family (wife and three young kids) renovated and live fulltime in an Airstream trailer. We played games on their patio, tasted some wine, bought some wine, enjoyed wildlife and ranch animal viewing, and picked a ton of mulberries (which Katie and the boys turned into an apple mulberry pie and banana mulberry muffins once we reached the cool coastal weather).
Unfortunately, the NorCal coast is very expensive for RV parking, so Fort Bragg was sort of a vacation trip. We sprung for full hookups at our favorite spot, Caspar Beach. The kids could walk to the beach every day and we were a short drive to Fort Bragg for more adventures. The downside to this was not just the cost, but the close proximity to the other trailers. I sadly did not catch a photo of this, but we were literally 5-7 feet from another trailer…
Anyway, we spent a ton of time at the beach. The kids played in the sand, ran away from waves, went tide pooling, and just tuckered themselves out. The dogs also enjoyed the beach and we learned Hallie is a rock climber. She must have been a mountain goat in another life.
This was also Rory’s first week of TK and our first week as a homeschooling and roadschooling family. Rory already knows the letters and numbers and expressed an interest in learning to read, so Katie is focusing on that for actual sit-down learning at the moment. The focus this week was mostly the letters T and S. To tie it together with our location they booked a ride on the Skunk Train and added the words Train, Tree Seaweed, Succulent, and Snail to the curriculum’s existing words. And the kid isn’t super fond of this 5-10 minute part of the day, BUT on Saturday during our farewell Fort Bragg breakfast at Eggheads, he was all about showing us how he writes the letter T and spent a ton of time saying words he thought had a T somewhere in it!!! We are calling it a win!
The roadschooling piece of our homeschooling adventure is mostly exploring each area we visit and learning about the animals, plants, habitats, cultures, and more! This comes naturally from travel. We went to the Fort Bragg Farmer’s Market and got to experience the local culture a bit. We thoroughly explored Caspar Beach and found a ton of sea anemones and sea shells. We took a walk and found a ton of banana slugs. We basically answer questions as best we can about what we see and try to encourage exploration of things whenever we can.
Doug took the kids to MacKerricher State Park to see the giant whale skeleton. The visitor center was closed, but there was an off-duty park ranger who let them in to explore. She also gave the kiddos some redwood and coastal topic work books and stickers. They were also very surprised to find out an old acquaintance, and local award winning artist, was working as a ranger!
Doug took these pictures of the adventure…
Katie took the boys to the Mendocino Botanical Gardens and man oh man did that place not disappoint. We learned a ton, saw a bunch of cool plants, ended up hiking quite a ways, and picked and ate a couple strawberries.
Katie also took Rory to a State Park Story Time on the Beach at Russian Gulch State Beach. Rory was the only kiddo and the ranger, Kate, was incredible. Katie felt super awkward taking a photo, since they were the only two people listening to the story, so there are no photos of the actual story time or Ranger Kate. Rory thought it was pretty cool to have a ranger read him a story AND since he asked so many questions and talked about picking up trash and being gentle with sea anemones, she gave him his very first California State Park Junior Ranger badge! He is so proud of himself!
We also explored Glass Beach as a family! We found a rock blow spout and took sooo many photos to finally get one of the water shooting up through it (and the kids’ reaction). But the boys seriously enjoyed watching it and they especially loved it when Doug stuck his face over it and got splashed. We all watched the waves and tried to predict which size wave would make the water shoot up.
Oh and we stopped in at the Noyo Center and that place is amazing!! So much fun stuff to look at and explore. We all wished it was a bit more hands on, but there was plenty to do and we all had a good time and learned a lot. We also know the fabulous artist behind the Orca mural, Nicola Beatts!!
Obviously we hit up the two breweries in town, North Coast (no photos taken) and Overtime. Katie and Doug both really enjoyed the beer at Overtime and Katie loved the beer choices! She ordered a flight because she really wanted to try the Jasmine Tea beer and the Cucumber beer. Both were good, but the Jasmine one was straight up amazing! Oh and Doug got to try “Doug’s Portuguese Lollypop!”
Oh and the hits keep on coming on the trailer repairs. We had to call a RV Tech to come check out our home because we kept smelling propane and just wanted to play it safe. Whelp, he didn’t find a propane leak (YAY!), but he did find a huge wire issue. He immediately fixed that, so all is well now. He also found that the tank we hadn’t used yet was broken!! This was the tank that came with the trailer (go figure) AND was visually inspected and re-certified just last month. We got that fixed to!
Here are a few random shots from the week too! Again, Nicola Beatts is the artist who painted the whale mural. She won an award for it too. Totally check this and the Noyo Center ones out!
It was not easy to leave Caspar Beach and Fort Bragg because it is so wonderful, but we are headed north to visit a friend in Eureka next, so we know we have a great week ahead of us!
Here are the running totals:
Days on the road: 33
Miles traveled: 946.5
Camp sites visited: 10
Breweries visited: 9
National Parks visited: 2