We ended up staying at McMenamin's a bit later than planned. We went to their wine tasting and got to sample about 6 different wines for $3. And they weren't just little sips, they were pretty generous amounts of wine. We decided to stay for lunch to give ourselves some time to recover. The wine was excellent though! I bought a bottle of the estate wine to bring home with me. It should be good!
Since we stayed later than planned, and we wanted to take the scenic Oregon coast route to the Redwood Forest (well worth the extra time, by the way), we didn't quite make it to California. Around 8:30 we started looking for a campsite so we could set up camp and have dinner before it got too dark. We ended up staying at Cape Blanco, which was a state park. It wasn't nearly as cold as Yellowstone, but the wind made it feel much colder! It was so windy, we couldn't even get the fire going. We ended up using my super-old camp stove to try to cook some pasta, but it took FOREVER for the water to boil and it ended up not being so great of a dinner. Once we got in the tent though, it was quite warm and we slept pretty well!
This morning we got up early to get on the road to California. Cape Blanco turned out to be closer to the border than we thought! We drove through the Redwoods and went on 2 different hikes. The first was a mile-and-back hike to the beach at the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. It was a little steep, but bearable, and we got to explore some of the beach as well. The second hike was the mile-long loop of the Lady Bird Johnson Redwood grove in the Redwood National Forest. This trail had a lot of the old-growth redwoods, some of which were several hundred years old! The trail also had a guide that gave a lot of info about the trees and growth around them. A park ranger overheard us talking about some birds, and ended up walking with us a bit and telling us some cool stuff about the forest. We saw these giant clover-looking leaves. I can't remember what they were called, but they contain the same stuff that they use to make Sour Patch Kids sour. He told us we could eat them (but that we should wait until he left so that we wouldn't get in trouble). They were good, but weird! Whoever heard of a sour leaf?
After the forest, we made our way to Sonoma to stay with our friend Brad who works at a vineyard in the area. We're going to stop by his job on our way into San Fransisco for a private tour! Apparently Sonoma and Napa are somewhat rivals in the wine-making industry. Either way, it's fun to drive by all the vineyards! I'm really excited for San Fransisco, though. Goals: ride trolley, see Golden Gate, eat sourdough bread. It should be fun!