Let's begin 2015 at Patrick's Point SP!

After a mild winter in California and desiring to get started on the season we began thinking about weekend getaways. First on the list was Patrick’s Point where we could expect mild weather, seeing friends, the beach, a short drive and unfilled sites.If we were to go over to the coast for a long weekend the task of de-winterizing needed to be accomplished, which then would happily launch our Airstream camping season. Yipee!  The season before when we de-winterized nothing major occurred, this season however the toilet (manual for toilet showed steps – not the Airstream manual) flush valve had to be replaced, kitchen faucet just plain fell apart, and the water pump leaked but the wrong fitting had been disconnected. Trips to the local hardware stores accomplished two and Amazon accomplished the third. We were in business within the week – thank goodness for advanced planning.

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First had to take out the sink to get the faucet out. Trip to the local hardware store to get a new one.
Cleaning the Cloud and preparing it for travel inside is a mission I enjoy. I scour all my favorite sites for items we might need for a new season, and insights into preparing for our adventures. This year we are adding an additional solar panel for quicker recharge for those non sunny campsites and days in fog. Also in following some websites certain taste factors pop out in the case of cooking and lighting, giving ideas of what we can improve on.
I love the time change as it allows us to leave late in the afternoon and still have daylight to find a campsite and set up. Driving to Patrick’s Point SP takes about 2 and a half hours with no stops. Perfect weather for driving we arrived and filled our water tank at the visitor parking lot (no water right now in the dump area).  Coming into the campground (limited camping because of staff) it looked a little full which was surprising because of the cool wet weather, however it was Friday night.  Upon arriving at our favorite section we found the best four sites in the entire campground dug up, and not a site to be vacant except the handicap sites. Upon circling back we met up with the camp host who told us they were full and began directing us to private sites… and then she must have seen my face and said she could sell us a handicap site for one night only because it was after 6pm. That worked and we backed in to a lovely site.  She later came to collect the fee and told us there might be a chance that others were leaving in the morning –at least one where we could fit. We thanked her for looking out for us and then inquired about the four dug up sites and were told they are going to be installed with cabins. Darn!

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Campsite 92 for one night -thankfully! It even had hookups that we tapped into the next morning.
We settled in for dinner with John surprising me with a meal (made earlier in the morning) of spaghetti, salad, bread and some wine! Walking around the campground after dinner we listened to the waves, fires crackling from various sites and the mist of fog dripping from the trees.

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Trinity County red wine from Alpen Cellars, perfect for dinner and a soon to be rainy night.

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We were able to move to site 99 in the morning as our camp host was looking out for us and it was super wet and not tent weather. If the bushes behind us were lower we would have had the perfect ocean view.
It wasn’t beach weather so we decided to eat lunch in Trinidad then drive up to Prairie Creek Redwoods SP. The park has a great open area where elk can be seen and after touring the campground we decided not many places could hold us. They are also in the process of putting in little cabins in prime location spots (current trailer spots). Along the way back we stopped at Redwood National Park and the visitor’s center, found a herd of elk off the road, visited the Humboldt Lagoons SP (tents) ,and looked at Big Lagoon County Park (one site we liked).

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The rhododendrons at Big Lagoon Elementary were absolutely stunning! We passed this on our way into Big Lagoon County Park.

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Dinner with friends at Trinidad’s Moonstone Grill- couldn’t ask for a better evening! We rarely go out for dinner when we’re camping but when we do it’s always fabulous.

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Fern Canyon has 50 foot walls containing about seven different kinds of ferns. Even though it was wet numerous groups were hiking it and stream wading was performed by all.
Had not been to Fern Canyon in decades and thought it would be a good day to visit – even in the rain. When I attended Humboldt State for school I bought my first Gore-Tex jacket (you had to seal the seams back then) but didn’t currently own one…oops and it warranted one.  The drive to Fern Canyon is via Gold Bluffs Beach (tent camping) and took forever once leaving 101. The road was dark due to an intense canopy, scary narrow at parts and desolate, so imagine my/our surprise when we get to the beach and there is park aide in the entrance station- crazy! And  there were a lot of campers in the campground – which was drenched.

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Western Skunk Cabbage is pretty but emits a smelly odor to attract pollinators.

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This elk just kind of waited for it’s picture to be taken. The beach is right behind and I wonder if they ever visit the tenters .
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Lunched at Palmer Point on Monday  – no one was there and made the drive home a little bit easier having a relaxing lunch. At least we got some of the kinks out in starting the new camping year.