Get Lost (Part 6)

                                                (Sixth in a series)

I’ve been to Hollywood…         

                 I’ve been to redwood…

                      I crossed the ocean for a heart  of  gold…

 

I’ve been in my mind,

                  its such a fine line…

 

That keeps me searching

                          for a heart of gold…

Third stop Vallecito and Redding: 2 days, 2 nights

The next couple days consisted of adventures! We headed from Napa in the early morning to Vallecito, California near the Motherlode to see the Moaning Cavern, which is the largest cave chamber in California. It was partly cloudy, but we had enough sun to try out gold panning and went inside to crack our geodes. We decided to do the walking tour of the cave rather than rappel down 165 feet by rope into the main chamber of Moaning Cavern. The walking tour was no easy feat though it consisted of a spiral staircase of 234 steps! The cave maintained a temperature of 61 degrees and we found going down much easier than going up.  We were able to see so many amazing rock formations, such as, cave bacon and stack of plates.

draperiesshastaAfter visiting the Moaning Cavern we headed straight up to Redding for the night and looked forward to a day of seeing Mount Shasta’s waterfalls. Sadly, when we woke up the rain completely took over our trip. We grabbed a couple pamphlets from the Motel 6’s lobby and discovered Lake Shasta Caverns!  It was decided we would go there instead and so off we went. The drive was a breeze it was the trip to the caverns we were unprepared for; a long walk down to the McCloud Arm of Lake Shasta, a catamaran across to the other side of the lake, a walk up to a small bus, and then bus up the winding and steep roads to Continue reading “Get Lost (Part 6)”

Get Lost (Part 1)

Road trippin’ with my two favorite allies…

Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies…

It’s time to leave this town…

It’s time to steal away…

Let’s go get lost…

Anywhere in the U.S.A.

Let’s go get lost…                                                                  Let’s go get lost…

As a teenager I couldn’t wait to go on a road trip, but with a job at sixteen, schoolwork, and socializing I never got around to it. As my friends and I graduated, with some heading out into the work force, some going to university, and others getting started on the mommy track, it would be years before we would get our chance. I’ve been able to have a couple small adventures, but my friend Michelle and I decided to make our great escape at twenty-five to California.

We were able to call upon her family to watch her two girls and we put in motion a weeklong trip that would take us from Seattle to Portland to Napa to Redding and make a loop ending at my mom’s home in rural Oregon. Michelle would proceed on to her home in Washington and I would take the train back up after spending a couple days with my mom.

I spent almost a month prior to our little adventure doing research… can you tell I work at a library!? I needed to know how far we would travel, what destinations we wanted to hit, and make sure we had activities planned every day.

I immediately headed to Google Maps to check on the travel time between cities. This helped me plot out what locations we could hit in one day. I was also able to check on hotels, motels, and campgrounds near-by and potential attractions. With Microsoft Excel I created a daily itinerary and left myself room for notes, such as, addresses of attractions, places for the night, miles traveled, emergency contact numbers, and food nearby. Two of my favorite helpful guidebooks that I got from the library were:mobilguide

Mobil Travel Guide: Northern California, which had maps and a mileage chart. With my mom living in Oregon I felt more comfortable traveling within the state, but California was a whole new adventure for the two of us so I was constantly looking at the map to make sure we were headed in the right direction and make myself aware of the exits ahead. It’s a great companion to any navigator in the passenger seat.

funnortherncaliIn Fun with the Family in Northern California, even though we did not have Michelle’s little ones with us, we were able to find affordable and free entertainment. This book is especially helpful when traveling on a budget. With it we discovered Glass Beach, in quiet Fort Bragg on the Northern coast of California and Moaning Cavern located in Vallecito, California near the Motherlode!  It makes you aware of the roads less traveled, such as, Highway 121 the Silverado Trail which offers more of a back road view between Calistoga and Napa.

With a good friend and some snacks and supplies we let the library be our guide! (The journey continues next week).