Anyone that knows my family knows we love travelling to the weird, creepy and haunted places in America. At least once a year we try and squeeze a trip in to some haunted destination. This year we decided to go all touristy and head down to check out Alcatraz island. Staying with the creepy theme we secured our tickets to a night tour of the prison. Now that we had the destination, we planned the route, packed up the Durango and hit the road.
Day one was just pavement pounding to Medford Oregon. For this trip we decided to forgo the motel and camp....well, sort of. We hit up the KOA's with cabins. Searching the area for stuff to do we found a place called "The Oregon Vortex." So the next morning we got up and hit the road to check the place out. Some say it's haunted but there's nothing really spooky about it just a bunch of optical illusions and strange balance tricks. But I just noticed that all the pictures I took of the place did not transfer to my laptop. All the other pics before and after the Oregon Vortex did. Strange coincidence?
Day three we decided to deviate from the straight I5 run and head over to the coast, through the redwoods and down Hwy 1. The Jedadiah Smith memorial highway is a fantastic road trip. It meanders through the redwoods and rain forest. Just like the moon of Endor. I had the kids on the look out for the Ewoks. Of course we made the stop at "The Trees of Mystery" tourist trap on the way out to the coast.
Walking around this place definitely makes you feel small. mixed in with all the normal size firs and spruces, there are huge specimens of Costal redwoods pushing 300 feet. Along the trail there are some weird features and wood carvings. It was a great place to stop and let the kids stretch their legs.
We eventually made it out of the forest and hit the road again headed towards Hwy 1. The begining of the 1 iwould be a blast to drive if you have a motorcycle or canyon carving sports car but in an Electric power steering equipped huge crossover, it was pretty crazy at times. After several miles of insane switchbacks and lots of swooping curves, we made it to the coast.
The mission for the day was to make it to Ft. Bragg to check out the famed glass beach. Years ago the beach at Ft. Bragg was used as a garbage dump and over time the ocean has slowly polished the garbage and turned the plastic and glass into cool little jewels.
We got there just in time to catch an amazing sunset.
Now that we were in Ft. Bragg after dark, we made the decision to just grab a motel for the night vs. pushing on to the next KOA. Well apparently Ft. Bragg is a popular place during CA's spring break and most of the motels were booked for the week. We ended up grabbing the last room at the Murder....I mean Motel 6. This turned out to be the scariest place we visited on the entire trip. This place was straight out of the serial killer handbook. Police sirens, neighbors yelling and strange folks walking around. Needless to say we got an early start the next morning.
This morning started with a stop in the Russian Gultch state park to check out the Devils punch bowl.
Russian Gultch is a fantastic state park and has everything including the quintisential vagabond CA surfer dude living in a van.
Next stop Petaluma with a jaunt through the CA wine country. Stay tuned for part two....