No road trip would be complete without matching t-shirts. This is a statement of fact. Here we are, posing in front of Sam’s car – which we’ve dubbed “the blue whale” in honor of ORCA – sporting our matching road trip warrior t-shirts. It’s difficult to tell in this picture, but we are also sporting warrior braids!
We left Sweet Home at 10 a.m. with the goal of reaching the Redwoods before sunset. Our first stop was in Eugene, Oregon where we had the most off-the-charts-delicious breakfast at Off the Waffle. Sam and Hannah ordered “The Hey Bob” which was topped with sliced apple, melted havarti cheese, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Eliza ordered “The BMB” which stands for Basil Maple Bacon. It was topped with all three AND cheese.
Man. Alive. Friends.
After leaving Eugene, we drove through Florence, Winchester Bay, and Coos Bay. We stopped at the Umpqua Lighthouse and enjoyed the whale watching deck. No whale sightings for us, unfortunately, but maybe next time! Apparently this is one of the best places to spot one.
An hour later, we stopped in Coos Bay. This is an adorable riverfront town with a small pier/boardwalk. We got out to stretch our legs but only lasted a few minutes. We have all been surprised by how cold it has been on this trip. Temperatures have hovered around the low 60s since we arrived. The wind was fierce, so we quickly got back into the (warm!) car and continued on our way.
And by “continued on our way” I really mean we drove to McDonald’s for McFlurries… because that’s what you eat when you’re cold (and for the doubters out there, trust us, they really hit the spot)
Coos Bay was our last stop before we reached the Oregon coast. Anticipation was high and Bandon did not disappoint. Here we saw the famous haystack rocks. The beach was gorgeous and Hannah and Eliza enjoyed their first encounter with the Pacific Ocean.
We stopped to take a quick photo in front of the “Welcome to California” sign before continuing south towards Redwood National Park. Crossing into the park was an emotional experience. Sam cried; Eliza sobbed in her heart. Hannah shouted, “YA’LL!” – which is her equivalent to crying.
Gold Bluffs Beach Campground – our home for the evening – is located inside the park in Prairie Creek, CA. Consequently, it seemed necessary (to Eliza at least) that we each choose pioneer names to be used for the duration of our stay. Hannah chose Kirsten, Sam picked Felicity, and Eliza picked Addie (and yes, those are the names of the American Girl dolls. This was unintentional).
After driving six miles on a precarious, pothole-ridden road, we reached the beach right at sunset! It was stunning and left us in awe of God’s perfect timing. We quickly located campsite 12 and set up our tent before dark. Dinner and s’mores before bed was the perfect way to end the day. We fell asleep listening to the ocean. It was absolutely surreal and a bucket list dream come true for all three of us.