West Coast Road Trip Fall 2016

Video clips

Friday am drive to Atascadero, short stop Tejon, 58 to Santa Margarita, no good wildlife. Saturday visit Morro Rock Art in the Park, rainbow lorikeet flying on way home. Feeding apples to deer. Skunk on trail cam. Sunday leave noon, Gilroy at 3, all but one stall of 10 in use. Walk around, farm stall. Leave at 4, straight to Petaluma via 880/580, accidents and fires. Dinner at Alfredo’s. Best Western Petaluma – old, a bit noisy, but slept well and good breakfast

Back road to Bodega Bay in the am, two housecats and lots of farm animals and a raptor or two. Hwy 1 north, seals and pelicans in Bodega Bay. Very scenic drive. Arrive Mendocino 12:30 ,straight to Catch a Canoe, out at 12:50 ish. Up the Big River estuary. Birds, then pair of river otters! Osprey nest. One otter on way back, and a seal. Sea Rock Inn parked in 6 for Tesla connector, stayed in 3. Very nice. Walked half mile to town, most restaurants closed. Bought food at market and ate on porch, then watched sunset. Very good breakfast, fresh fruit and sausages and lots more

Drove north, MacKerrick SP boardwalk and tidal pools, watched cost guard do practice boat to helicopter lifts. Very distant whale spouts. Then to Eureka supercharger, sketchy mall, panhandler and another guy wanting to talk Tesla. Walmart in mall for camping food. North to Prairie Creek Redwood SP, prebooked site 19, full campground! Good site, near bathroom but private behind large tree. Firepit. Up early, 6:40 and drove out to meadow, one male elk! And a female deer. Then to Cal Barrel road, unlocked as we sat there so we drove up, short hike on Rhododendron Trail. Back to camp for breakfast and get ready for longer hike, to Ossagon Trail, 1.6 miles to ocean. Misty when we got there, walked across sand, two trucks with fishermen, Then walked north to check out some big rocks, I found elk – one male big rack at least 4 females. Lots of uphill on way out! Back to camp to shower 25 cents a minutes, cook spagetti, hang out (eric nap I walked to visitor center). Then drive to meadow, hang out until sunset, several deer one male elk. Out 7 am searching, one male elk (same one?) big meadow, stayed awhile with him. One deer again too. Then pack up camp, head north around 9. No signal for two days, none until Crescent City, right as we get there new supercharger pops in! Used it for an hour or so, walked around bay/on jetty, talked to gray S85 people. On road 11ish. Long SP just over Oregon border stopped at several bviewpoints – Natural Bridges, Thunder Cove, Arch Rock. Great sea colors!

Lunch Panther’s Den pizza Gold Beach, GE wattstation. Checked out Humbug Mountain, Ssipped Port Orford/Cpae Blanco park, too cold/windy at Banford to camp, booked Red Lion Coos Bay. Hung out in room snacking and wifi. Late morning, out at 10, South Slough estuary hikes 3.5 miles, nice trails. North to Newport, Devils Punchbowl stop, tired, booked Coho Beachfront Hotel Lincoln City, Used supercharger, ate at Kyllo’s, watched sunset, more wifi time. OK hotel poor pillows for price. AM stopped by Drive Electric week event in town, talked to owners of all 3 types of teslas. Then north to Seaside, and over the Columbia River to Washington, and along the river to Centralia. Supercharger right near a Motel 6 so we just stayed there, a little sketchy but fine, Did laundry.

Back roads in AM to Mt Rainier National Park, cloudy. Bought firewood at Longmire and up to Cougar Rock, picked C23, firepit ring too high tho, and why close D,E,F ? Estimate to Paradise and back to Centralia 20% so plugged into bathroom 1-6 am. Up to Reflection Lake loop trail, bear! Lots of elk prints too. Visitor center at Paradise, beautiful day busy for a Monday in mid September. Waterfalls on each drive (Christine, Narada). Less cold 2nd night, got two more bundles of wood big fire. Chipmunks and stellar jays and robins as pests. Out around 9 am Tuesday, back to Centralia, then on to Burlington. Fairfield inn nice at first, but noisy at night (freeway/trains/neighboring rooms fridge and/or aircon)

Up 4:45 am, off to Anacortes ferry terminal. Dawn just after departure, arrive Friday Harbor San Juan island by 8, drive over to west side Lime Kiln area, dead deer and black phase red fox  plus a live deer. Walk down to Dedman’s Cove, watch river otter in sea for an hour, eating eating eating. Seabirds as well. People with offleash dogs arrive, everything leaves including us. Over to South Beach, walk meadow trails looking for foxes, lots of scat. Hear they drink at visitors center at sunset. Back into town, check into Orca Inn, tiny room! 3 pm Maya’s Legacy orca cruise, awesome – J pod, first Mike then mom with Scarlet and her daughter & grandkid, Double Stuff and Cookie later, Grandma – maybe the whole J pod. Whales left and right and in front and behind. Just us, research vessel and drone, one other boat, other commercial tours went south. Moms teaching babes to hunt, fluke slaps, tails, spyhopping, half keel breech, full breeches! Back about 6:30, off to South Beach American Camp first, when leaving see BFRF on road! Hang and wait till 7 but no return. Off to South Beach rabbit field, 100 bunnies! And 6 foxes hunting, red and black. And see orcas! Plus a pair of foxes on road as leaving, and two reds begging at a turnout. Check field again next AM at sunrise, less bunnies, one red fox.

International ferry to Sidney, arrive 11 am, drive to Campbell River with lunch in Cordva Beach, chademo stop and casino in Nanaimo. LOVE Beachway Vacation Rental! Full moon. Up early, at Go Wild for grizzly tour by 7:40, leave on slow yellow boat about 8:10. One transient orca on way, and some Dahl porpoises. Bute Inlet/Orford River, two bears near mouth, two bald eagles. To Homalco Indian welcome center, get rules, out in two buses. Learn some Homalco words, Mega (may-ha) is cougar. Stop by river, two bears. Back in bus to platform 5, stay there rest of tour, 8 bears one direction 4 the other, mom with triplet 2 year olds, more mom/cubs, adults, lots of chum salmon and birds. 17 different bear? Tons of pictures! Lunch after, then 2:15 boat ride back, longer as we saw stellar sea lions, 5+ more orca, dahl porpoise, and pacific white side dolphin playing in wake. Rain most of day and overnight.

Slept in, rain, surprise breakfast! Then drive to Strathcona Park, more sun than rain, a few short hikes. Ugly mine at end of Buttle Lake, not shown on maps! Broken into stolen car at backpack trailhead, glad we are not doing that. Dead deer, live mouse only nonbird wildlife. Backe to Campbell River, went to visitor center (free charger), heard about Port Hardy/Telegraph Cove, someone saw a cougar that morning! And black bear and elk. Orange Tabby B&B contacted, no charger although listed on plugshare (update, they have one but it’s not plugged in, uses dryer outlet). But hostel will let us use theirs, gave them CAD20. New plan: Sunday drive to Port Hardy with stop at Telegraph Cove for lunch, rain most of day, only wildlife one deer, night at Orange Tabby, drive to Cape Scott park next day (in rental SUV), walk around Ronnie’s Garden (giant sequoia), hike to San Josef bay – 6 otters, drive to Palmerston Beach (washed out bridge), lots of bear shit, eat in Holberg at Scarlet Ibis, slow drive back on logging road to Coal Harbor, one bear. back to Orange Tabby for Monday night, then back down to Courtenay area Tuesday, lunch charge at campbell river, ocean walk at distillery in Courtenay, thinking we were going to Nainamo. But HPWC hotel Tigh-Na-Mara had a great last minute price in Parksville, $127 for room, got ocean view, half price apps at bar, yum. Wednesday am down to Nainamo, casino, Eric win on 3 Kings, I got a straight fluch at Fortune Pai Gow Poker, we left ahead. Down to Sidney Beacon Inn B&B, walk around, everything closed at 4 or 5. Thanks to post on Tesla forum changed ferry plans, go from Victoria to Port Angeles instead, 90 min vs 3 hour ferry and shorter/prettier/no Seattle traffic to Centralia. Cost us $50 more. This ferry not till 3, explored Victoria a bit

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