Get ready for picture overload!
After leaving our dear friend Katy in Eureka we ventured north along the coast. Our first night, we boondocked for free at a tiny casino in Klamath, CA. We parked in their parking lot and the four-year-old found a basketball court and now has a new love of shooting hoops.
The next morning we ventured on. As part of our homeschooling we are talking about and reading Tall Tales and this is in large part due to the giant Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues at the Trees of Mystery, right off Highway 101. We went and explored the redwoods, learned about different types of tree formations, rode their Sky Trail gondolas, and meandered through the Trail of Tall Tales. The two-year-old was pretty much terrified of the giant talking (and waving and winking) Paul Bunyan, but the morning was otherwise well spent.
On our way to our next one-night stop, we did a quick stop in Crescent City so the 4 year-old could turn in Redwood Ranger activity book and and receive his Redwood Ranger badge.
That night we stopped in Port Orford, Oregon, and had a beautiful night on an overlook. The view was excellent and the very close beach had a great rock that made for wonderful tide pooling. Plus, we were within walking distance to a restaurant, so score one for not having to unhook our truck!
It was finally time to make our way to Florence, Oregon, which was our home for two weeks! This is the longest we have stayed in one place since we launched into this travel life! We stayed at South Jetty RV park and it really was quite wonderful. It is part of our Thousand Trails membership, so it was free. We had full hookups (score one for the daily showers) and there was a pool, hot tub, cheap laundry facility, and a basketball hoop (the four-year-old could not believe his luck)! We were very close to town, too!
We also finally met some other fulltime families! We went to a Labor Day potluck with three families and enjoyed our time quite a bit.
We went for a hike/walk around a nearby lake with another family workamping at Honeyman State Park (and learned a lot about the edible berries all over this area). No pictures of this trip for some reason…
We also went for a hike on the Hobbit Trail and hung out at Hobbit Beach with yet another family!
This same family joined us the next day as we went pedal boating around the lake at Honeyman State Park. Our four-year-old is quite fond of their six-year-old too, which made parting a bit difficult for him. But we very much enjoyed each adventure and are so happy to meet others loving this life too!
You might be thinking…where are the pictures of these other families? Did these things even happen?! They did! We swear! Katie feels awkward taking photos of other people, especially their kids, and Doug tends to forget to take photos when he is talking to all the new and interesting people! 🤷♀️
In Florence came the rain! In fact, we encountered a few days of seriously heavy rain. The kids got some upgraded rain clothing and absolutely loved the puddles…
But with the rain, came problems (how could it not?!). With our new roof and extensive repairs before we launched, we did not anticipate any leaks. BUT, we were very wrong. Nothing that was repaired leaked at all. So all the money we spent paying someone to fix up our home, seems to have been well spent. We did, however, discover our front storage area leaks horribly (which apparently is super common and we easily fixed it). We also discovered the SCREWS on our ramp door leak pretty bad too. So that is exciting (not really…at all). Not a difficult fix, but not one we are ready to make yet because it requires unscrewing them to add some sort of sealant and then re-screwing them. Oh and we discovered the humid air accumulates quickly on our RV windows. So we had to buy a dehumidifier to keep the moisture below the come hither mold level.
Despite the rain and the new problems with our RV, we had a great time in Florence. Katie’s grandma and uncle live just 30 minutes south of there, so we visited them several times in the two weeks we were nearby. Sadly, we forgot to get pictures of all of us. 😭 Doug did sneak in this gem…
We drove up to the largest natural sea cave in the United States that is also home to a ton of sea lions. Apparently, the sea lions hang out in the cave during the colder months and bad weather, so on the beautiful sunny day we visited, they were all sun bathing on the rocks outside of the cave and were hard to see. But the cave was cool.
And we finally did a little research and found a beach that is known for tide pooling and it did not disappoint at all! Katie and Doug wished they could return sans kids to explore more thoroughly, but all in all it was an amazing experience and we all saw so much awesome tide pool life.
We also went sand sledding on nearby sand dunes, which was so much fun! Doug is certain this is the most fun he has had since we launched into this lifestyle.
We found a ton of banana slugs. They did sort of lose their appeal toward the end of our stay, or at least the kids stopped being quite as stoked about them. The 2 year-old did have Katie sing Twinkle Twinkle to one who had not moved in a while because it was “sleeping.”
Here are some additional random photos from our time exploring the Florence Oregon area! Quickly…we brought some dinner with us and had a back of the car picnic a couple of times. We went to the Farmer’s Markets, we made a nature weaving, Doug took the kids shopping while he searched for some clothing for himself, we went to the library story time a few times, we identified many of the birds we saw, the 4 year-old became an Oregon Dune Junior Ranger, and we did so much more too!
In case you want to know…our running totals are:
Days on the road: 54
Miles traveled: 1,382
Camp sites visited: 15
Breweries visited: 12
National Parks/Recreation Centers/Monuments visited: 4