On Friday our crew (remember Sydney joined here in Santa Cruz) packed up our “New Brighton” camp early with the goal of making it to Willits, California, a two hundred mile trek through the San Francisco Bay area. By the time we got on the road it was already past the heavy traffic hours. Willits will be a one night stop on our way North to Oregon exiting California as quickly as possible. What? Such a beautiful state you ask and your right. While I have traveled extensively in California during my younger years (remember I spent my entire life here). I chose to just hit a few stops before getting away from the more populated areas.
California is an expensive state to camp. While traveling along the coast they offer some beautiful State Parks, but many in need repair due to budget shortfalls. Sometimes you’ll find they have newer restrooms with showers, only to find the water has been turned off due to the drought and budget. The nightly fees are higher and there are few if any dry camping alternatives for larger RV’s at the facilities or nearby forests. The private parks also have higher nightly rates and I find myself on a very strict budget in my Full-Time travel retirement years.
Staying at KOA’s
I did some research of the Northern California Coastal area before heading North from Southern California. While I don’t usually camp a KOA’s, partially due to the higher nightly rates, they do have full hookups and many other features depending on the individual KOA. Most are nice, especially if you have children with you. After researching our options that’s where I ended up booking a one-night reservation. As it turns out they even have a small animal zoo here along with the more usual amenities. We arrived in the afternoon, unhitched the Workhorse in time to explore the campground and drive into town to fill up the truck with diesel for the drive tomorrow morning.
The Long Drive to Eureka
The drive to Eureka the next morning was 8 hrs, twice as long going around mountains of debris that had slid onto the road. At one point the road was nothing but mud, a single lane with long waits. I was exhausted and excited to see the campground in Eureka. We called ahead and told them we would be very late and they made accommodations for us. They even asked if we wanted to cancel our reservation with no penalty. They understood what we had to travel through to get there, but it wasn’t an option for us. Going North we had to pass this way. Any other route would have been even further out of our way and Eureka was a town I wanted to revisit. My last time here was almost 50 years ago!
I’m never disappointed when I’m close to the ocean. Here I’ve included a few pictures of our time visiting. There is also a link below to see even more pictures for those who are interested. Eureka will be our launch point into Oregon in the next few days.
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Safe Travels…Gary and Jagger
More Photos: Eureka
Campground Review: Redwood Coast Cabins and RV Park