Tom: The trolley rides were incredible. Even just seeing them operate was exciting. The architecture of the houses was amazing! San Francisco is an exciting city! There’s so much to do and so much to see.
Heidi: The great thing we realized that day was that we didn’t need to worry about what time we had to be back. We didn’t have to check in or check out. We set our own schedule and could adjust it. Everything was on our own timeline. In the beginning of the day, we got lost, but eventually figured out where the parking lot was. We got on the ferry, and it was no big deal.
The Coast Drive
Tom: Waking up in the parking lot in Sausalito was a highlight. It was such a different experience since we had never slept in a parking lot before. Driving south on Route 1 we were in total awe of the mountains. We have seen the Atlantic Ocean, but the Pacific is different. It seeps into the mountains. It’s breathtaking!
Heidi: When we when started the coast drive, I was a little bit nervous because it was so steep and close to the edge. I was focused on my fear, but then the experience of the winding road and the view was too exhilarating to not stay focused on the beauty. It was amazing! I’d do it again.
That night we parked in a turn-off on the coast. We were a bit worried about sleeping on the coast since we had fleeting thoughts about earthquakes. It turned out to be one of the favorite things that we did. Who gets to say that they literally slept on the edge of the country? The spontaneity of it was cool; it was dark, we pulled over, and we stayed. Just being able to do that because of the amenities in the camper was awesome.
Continuing down the Coast
Heidi: We loved Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. It’s a hidden gem! I just kept thinking that there are so many cars driving by that didn’t know what was there. It felt like a special place that not that many people know about it. The waterfall, the ocean, the foundation of the house, all represented the whole idea of the trip. We got to experience things that not everyone gets to see. You can easily go about your life and not see things in front of you if you don’t take the time to do it. Just take some time, walk the path, and see it.
Tom: The elephant seals were nice because it wasn’t like we were at a zoo. They were in their natural habitat coming right out of the ocean. We also saw some overly friendly squirrels. This day was also the first day reality hit us and we realized that some things might go wrong on a trip. We got really close to running out of fuel, which was a little scary.
Heidi: Then, we went over to Hearst castle, but the tours were sold out for the day. Luckily, we had the opportunity to choose and change our itinerary. Even though it was an obstacle, we just moved on to the next thing because we were able to change our plans easily.
KOA and Sequoia National Park
Tom: At that point in the trip, the KOA was like the Trump Hotel. We got to take a shower at the campground. Actually not showering in a real shower for a couple of days wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. Up until then we showered in the camper.
Heidi: I really liked the KOA because it was like a little community. They even had pizza delivery that came to our camper. While we were at the KOA, I didn’t have a hair dryer but I discovered that using the hand dryer in the bathroom to blow dry my hair worked just as well.
Tom: Then we drove to Sequoia and got held up in construction for about thirty to forty-five minutes. It was lunch time, so we ate lunch in the camper while waiting in line. Gordon was able to cook on the stove and made us hot sandwich wraps, while the other people were waiting in their cars for the construction line. We felt special!
Driving into Sequoia we were in awe again. Just thinking about how large the park actually is and sacred it is. We noticed how well the park was taken care of. I remember seeing a ranger taking a couple of pinecones from a kid. That’s good to see how treasured it all is.
Heidi: I liked when we started seeing larger trees here and there. I remember the anticipation while we were driving, knowing something is coming. Then, we saw the huge Sequoias.
Tom: Seeing a bear in Crescent Meadow was awesome. It was beautiful! I loved it! It wasn’t like going to your local park. It was the real deal. I remember the mule deer just sitting there allowing us to take photos. You feel a mutual respect for the animals. There’s a real peacefulness to the park.
Heidi: Our first campfire was a lot of fun. Hanging out that night was really special and I was glad the four of us were doing this together. The amazing thing was the atmosphere of the campground. We just went over and asked someone for foil and not batting an eyelash they gave us some. We made hot dogs and hamburgers and it was great.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon Trails
Heidi: Not one area of the park was prettier than another. It was all so breathtaking. We’ve been to National Monuments in the past, but never to a National Park.