After our shift linkage fell out on our way through SLO (San Luis Obispo), we were super paranoid the rest of the trip, and kept stopping when we heard a new noise. And since this was Morty's first trip, all noises were new noises. It was slow going to Santa Cruz, which was only 2 hours away, and we ended up arriving at 10pm, well after dark.
Luckily, the campsite was really nice, we got a spot near the restrooms (which were some of the cleanest I have ever been in!), and we spent a decently comfortable night.
|Morty at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, site #32|
This trip has totally inspired me to keep notes on campsites that we travel through, as tips like bathroom cleanliness, insect control, cost/fees and privacy are things I find very important, but aren't always rated or noted in reviews. A new tab with campsite recommendations is coming soon!
The next day, we got up super early and headed inland and north, towards the I-5. Our cigarette lighter/charger doesn't quite work yet, but thanks to our buddies John and Jorj, we had solar power to charge our phones.
|Goal Zero solar charger - free energy!|
I cannot wait for the day that I have solar power for my entire home. All the destruction of the environment, wars, and pollution that we suffer through, just for gas and oil and coal to power homes - it's idiotic. We could be getting free, clean energy all the time. Mike's already got an auxiliary battery for Morty, so we can put solar panels on his roof and have energy on long camping trips (without using the motor or gas). The future is here!
And while we're on the topic of the environment, some sad California drought scenes we saw on our way up to Oregon:
|brown, brown pastures for miles and miles.|
|Lake Shasta, which should be up to the level of the trees. For scale, that little white thing|
on the right side of the picture is a large boat.
One of the things I love most about traveling is that it gives you perspective. And even though this wasn't a fuzzy, feel good perspective, it did hammer home the fact that water may run through the pipes at home just as it did before, and it may cost the same monetarily, but there is an overall planetary cost that you just don't see every day. Things are changing, and people's lives are affected.
|Passing through Shasta National Forest, with Mike at the helm.|
After we passed Lake Shasta, it was just another hour to Castle Crags State Park. We were anxious to get home and see our pets, so we didn't hit the hiking trails here, but we are definitely coming back. This place is beautiful, isolated, and perfect for groups to hang out (and these bathrooms are even cleaner than the last!). Lots of bear warnings, though. We decided to eat all our food and store it inside our bodies, rather than stick it in the bear box. There were lots of spiders in there, and somehow, that seemed scarier.
|Castle Crags State Park, site #14. Stunning scenery, complete with bears.|
|Morty likes camping!|
|The "Castle Crags" from which the park gets its name. Picture from web, no credit listed.|
We made it home to Bend the next day, and as much as we love Los Angeles, and hunger for Mexican food, and miss our family and friends...home is where your bed is. And our bed is in Bend. Although, I did just buy some super awesome foam padding for Morty, so our bed may soon be wherever we want it to be.