In the oh-so-wee hours of Friday morning, long before the sun was even thinking of rising, we packed our last few items into the car and headed towards the Oregon Coast. This would be Thea's first and Panda's longest road trip and we wondered how the two girls would fare. Both had been known to suffer from motion sickness and Thea still struggles with her house breaking. This could turn out to be a messy trip, indeed.
For the month preceding the trip, Leo and I plotted and schemed. We knew we wanted to spend New Year's Eve in San Francisco, and Leo had the week of Christmas, and the following Monday and Tuesday off. How best to use that time without breaking the bank? We decided to do a two day, scenic drive to San Francisco, 3 nights in the city and then the fastest drive home on Tuesday. For accommodations, while on the road, we'd rely on our ample supply of camping gear and our boxy little car, Stewie.
We arrived at the Oregon Dunes, just as the sun was rising, exactly as we had hoped.
Of course, we let the girls out for a run.
The weather would be the best we'd see that day, overcast and a bit chilly, but not more than a mist of precipitation.
As we continued to work our way down the coast of Oregon, we found many lovely little spots to stop and take in the scenery.
And whenever we could, we stopped to let the girls run around.
As we crossed the border to California, we entered the first of several Redwood forests. Redwoods, if you aren't aware, are rather large trees, overall. This sign seemed redundant to us
But who could ignore it?
Guess what we found at the end of the short trail?
A big tree! No kidding.
As the sun set, we found ourselves in Eureka, California, which, incidentally, doesn't look anything like it does on that TV show. Much like my last road trip with Julia, we were between several redwood forests and we had to carefully weigh the benefits of making more time versus the disappointment of missing the beautiful sights. With Julia, though, our problem was that there were no open motels when we were ready to quit. With Leo, it's that none of the stops were just right.
Finally, after much poo-pooing we found a place that was just right. A sweet little RV campground with several festively decorated cabins.
We rented an RV spot, and I took the girls for a walk while Leo struggled through torrential rain and pitch blackness to get the car set up for the evening. Thea has never pottied on a leash before and despite much coaxing and encouraging, she wasn't in a mind to start that night. For Leo's part, he was doing his best to avoid getting everything we owned soaked while attempting to set up the car for the night. Normally, in an Element, you can lay each front and back seat flat to produce two long single beds. We had an air mattress to lay over it and a doggy bed to put on the side. However, having over packed and with too much rain to leave much outside, only the back seats could lie flat, which meant Leo had to place the air mattress over much of our stuff. A little unlevel, but better than sleeping sitting up.
With a passable sleeping arrangement in order, we threw in two wet dogs and a few blankets, and were in business. Yah, try to contain your envy. As we dug out some snacks and put a DVD into the laptop, something happened and we heard a hiss.
I think you know what's coming. We popped a hole in the air mattress. Thea's crate, in it's broken down mode, had some sharp little points, which, having done their business with the mattress, were now digging into our legs. This was an unexpected turn of events. We figured we would simply have to face the long night ahead, until we remembered that Leo is always prepared. Queue the MacGyver theme music.
A few snips to a vinyl glove, some super glue and a minute's wait and we had a perfect fix.
As long as Thea managed to hold her bladder for the night, we just might get a half decent sleep.
Find out if we did, in the next installment.