California Road Trip – Jenner

This was a good car day! We continued driving north on Highway One. The day included dramatic coastlines, massive redwoods, charming coastal towns and the Golden Gate Bridge. At spots the road is narrow, twisting and cliff-hugging. We took it slow and stopped often. 

We considered staying the night in Bodega Bay, but after two attempts at hotels that had no vacancies we headed a bit further north and ended up in the very small town of Jenner. We booked a room at The Jenner Inn and were happy with our choice. 

We spent the remainder of the day exploring the area, first with a hike inland to heavily wooded area and then with a long roam on the coast. We took a dirt road and came to a “water crossing” (actually a large, but of an unknown depth, puddle) and decided to park the car and walk. This felt, and actually was, very remote. There were electrical wires back into a camp, but not much else. We reached a trail which lead us into a thickly forested area. Beautiful!

We got back and found the car as we left it. Looking back we were so lucky the car problem (dead battery) we had the following day did not occur here. We drove back to the coast and walked a coastal bluff trail. The best part of this hike was coming upon a few patches of Amaryllis belladonna, out in the middle of nowhere. I love these flowers. Also unexpected, and very cool, were the long boardwalk paths running through the bluffs. 

We ended the day with an in-hotel room dinner consisting of ramen, cheese and crackers and chocolate. We usually do this at least once on all trips either, as was in this case, because there are no good dinner options, or because we are burned out with eating out. We called it an early night and woke the next morning to thunder, lightening and rain.


Santa Cruz – The Town

After spending a good portion of the day in two State Parks out of town we thought we better find lodging for the night. We had hopes for a cute beachy place, but after checking a few out and finding them seriously lacking we headed for the predictable Holiday Inn Express. Next up was dinner. We ended up at Tramonti for yummy Italian. This Spaghetti al Pomodoro was delicious!

After dinner we walked (miles) all over the boardwalk and pier area. It is an interesting area. Cool, old school and classic Cali, but also sort of shabby with lots of poorly maintained, not tidy properties. It is nice that this time of day, called the “golden hours”, makes everything look better.


Santa Cruz – The State Parks

We left Cambria fairly early on day 2 of our California road trip with plans to drive to Santa Cruz and spend the night there. It was a short drive and by mid morning we were in town at the visitor’s center making a plan for the day. First up was a short drive out of town to Henry Cowell Redwood’s State Park. The ancient giant redwoods are amazing. We spent about an hour hiking and photo taking.

Next we drove to a second state park, Wilder Ranch. First we walked out to the coast. Traveling in September, mid-week, means very few or no people. At this park we saw one other couple. That is it. Nice!

We walked back inland and discovered the Wilder Ranch. This was an amazing find. The Wilder family operated a dairy farm here until the land was acquired by the State of California in the early 1970s. The extremely picturesque buildings remain and are mostly in good condition.


California Road Trip – Cambria

Chris and I left last Sunday morning for a 6-day California road trip. We spent 5 days driving up the coast and then into the wine country and then crashed for the weekend at the Tomsics in Danville. We had only firm plans for the first day, and “winged” the rest. Our first night was spent in Cambria. On the way we stopped for breakfast at the Santa Barbara Public Market. 

Our next stop was Morro Bay.

We drove on to Cambria, checked into our hotel and immediately hopped on the complimentary bicycles. We rode up and down Moonstone Beach and then into town. We dropped the bikes back at the hotel and drove into town to shop and eat dinner at Linn’s. We found some new-to-us shops, but didn’t buy anything but olallieberry jam at Linn’s.

After dinner we thoroughly explored our lodging, Cambria Beach Lodge. This is an old, recently renovated motel type place with relatively low room rates. It is basic (no fancy amenities – no keurig), but super nice, clean and fun. We loved it! 

We had hopes of a beautiful sunset but the fogged rolled in. We wrapped up the day with a chilly walk on the boardwalk.