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I had a month off between semesters, Eric had a whole week off for a Japanese holiday (he works for a Japanese company). So – last-minute camping trip! Eric found an available campsite at Patrick’s Point State Park, just south of Redwood National Park, and it was a done deal.

I drove up to San Francisco on Sunday, and fought terrible traffic the whole way. The light at the end of the tunnel was the promise delicious pizza and lasagne at Piccino. Afterwards, Eric and I got supplies at Whole Foods to make dessert – gourmet pearl sugar waffles, ice cream, fresh berries. INSANELY good. Watched some anime and made shopping lists.

Monday we packed up my car and got supplies at REI and the grocery store. Had lunch at the Counter, then drove up to Sonoma. Checked into our cabin, named ‘Make’, at the Andiron seaside inn. The cabin was adorable – filled with old craft kits, patterns, a paint-by-numbers wall, paint and crayons. We drove up to Fort Bragg and explored the glass beach – the remains of a bottle factory and had dinner at a really good little Thai place.

Tuesday we hiked a bit at Russian Gulch, then had lunch at the North Coast Brewing Co. restaurant. Dessert was Cowlicks ice cream, a much-celebrated local brand – and for good reason! Probably the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Drove to Eureka for groceries, continued on to Humboldt County, and got our first look at California’s giant prehistoric trees. They. Are. Huge.

Made camp at Patrick’s Point and cooked dinner and made s’mores. As we were cleaning up we found a little slug on our picnic table; s/he was after some hot chocolate that had spilled and soaked into the boards. Read in my sleeping bag for awhile and finally got to sleep after having some quiet mini-freak-outs about some suspicious noises that sounded like someone being bludgeoned to death.

Wednesday morning – no police, no suspicious activity, so I assumed no one had actually been murdered. Had breakfast at camp, then drove up to Redwood National Park. Got some maps and guide books then hiked a few hours through old-growth redwood forests. Hiked around another campground too, tried to view the Klamath River from an overlook, but the pervasive fog was too thick.

We returned to Patrick’s Point in time to hike down to the tide pools at Palmer’s point, at the south end of the park. Eric and I spent hours exploring the tide pools – a vast expanse of flat, rocky beach, shrouded in fog. Even with a family exploring nearby, it was eerily quiet and bleak – like an alien landscape. We saw a lot of kelp, snails and anemone, some barnacles and several starfish. After the tide pools we made dinner at camp (fajitas!) then had some s’mores and retired to our tent.

Broke camp on Thursday morning, drove down the coast to Humboldt Redwood State Park, and did some more hiking. Made it back to SF without incident, and arrived just in time to see the fog roll in.