Thursday, December 4, 2014

Highway 101 - Northern California / Southern Oregon... (Day 1 & 2)

The 'Man-Child' and I snuck away last Monday on a trip to the Northern California, Southern Oregon Coast... We were going to Oregon to pickup some new ewe's and a new Ram for our herd from River Bend Ranch in Days Creek, OR. We decided we would leave a few days early and spend Thanksgiving in Charleston (Charley Town) Oregon this year. On the ocean.

It took me a bit of time and a few near sleepless nights, but I put a full itinerary together. My itinerary is in 'Large Bold' as we travel along in the next few blog posts. The itinerary is the tentative travel plan we followed for 6 days. It was worth the time to plan out the trip because it was Thanksgiving week.  We hit every schedule, aside from being a bit late a few times because of really rainy weather.

Come along with me for an awesome getaway...

 Leave  Monday the 24th – from here (Central Utah) to Reno up through Salt Lake City and onto I-80. It is about 11 ½   hours drive time to get to Sparks from here...
We have a room reserved for Monday night at:

Victorian Inn
1555 Victorian Ave.
Sparks, NV

(775) 331-7775

Cost for the room was = $39.71

I didn't know this hotel was on the reality show, "Hotel Impossible" until I had already booked the room. It was very clean and really quiet, although it was right off the Interstate. I was surprised how warm the room was when we arrived on a cold November night. Usually Motel rooms are chilly. This one was inviting. It is obviously an older motel, but it had a wonderfully comfy bed. We would definitely stay here again if we were traveling through Sparks. But, we were towing our smaller horse trailer. There is not much parking. We got lucky and there's a few spots behind the motel that made a big enough spot to accommodate our truck and trailer. I would call ahead if you were towing something and make sure they would have room for you before booking a room. Other than that, it was very easy to find and a cute little place to stay. 

Tuesday morning we got rolling quite early. We struggled to find a place to get a cup of coffee off the 395 headed toward Susanville --- Mainly because we were in such a hurry. It's a long drive from Sparks, NV to Crescent City, CA and I was determined to get to the Pacific before it got dark. 

Confession: I have never seen an ocean, so this was really a fun trip for me and I was impatient about getting to the coast...

Tuesday the 25th –  There’s a restaurant in Old Station, CA (about 2 Hours 45 min.out of Reno) that would probably be a good place for breakfast called “JJ’s Cafe,” if it’s still open this late in the season.

There was a wonderful old Victorian mansion on the main route through Susanville, CA I snapped a few pics of.

It's the Susanville Elks Lodge. Construction was started on it in 1884 and ended in 1887. It's a beautiful, old, building with quite a prominent location in town.

We did in fact stop at JJ's Cafe in Old Station, CA and had a great "down-home" cooked breakfast. It's a small cafe and cozy. They have good homemade food. We would definitely stop here again if going through Old Station. It was a nice break along the way for breakfast and it's located in a beautiful area.

From Reno up through SusanvilleCA to ReddingCA and then along the coast on Hwy 101 to Crescent CityCA
It is about an 8 hour drive. – 

It was a nice drive up through the Lassen National Forest and past the Lassen Volcano National Park. There was snow on the peaks of the volcanos, but no snow along the ride, although we did pass this sign in Susanville....

When we started dropping down toward Redding, CA the whole climate changed. It looked like Autumn was just starting in the more temperate climate on the Pacific side of the mountains. It was beautiful and warm and mild. And, I noticed that no matter how, or where I tried to get pics, there were power lines in every shot.

We headed out of Redding, CA and down the "Eureka Highway" past Whiskey Town Lake and the canyon was beautiful. It was a beautiful day for this ride. 

Weaverville, CA looked like Fall had just started and the whole time we were going down main-street I was chuckling to myself and remembering a fun weekend in Boyertown, PA with a sweet little friend of mine, 'Suz Weaver'. When I posted the pic on facebook and she was one of the first to 'like it,' I was giggling.

When we first seen a glimpse of the ocean by McKinleyville, Ca -  I squealed. I think I deafened the 'Man-Child'. He's seen the ocean many times in his life and he lived in Hawaii for a stretch. Not me... I'm a desert rat. I've always wanted to see it (well, see any ocean), but I just never had the opportunity to go.

This was my first sighting of the Pacific Ocean. Of course, I was snap happy with the camera while I was yelling about it.

I was like the little kid constantly repeating, "Are we there yet?"...
I think the 'Man-Child' was as happy as me when we finally got to the coast. There was too much traffic on the highway to just whip over to the side with a horse trailer in tow and leap out of the truck, run across a busy highway, down through the grass and hop in. And, it was really windy ~ boo...

It was my first time smelling it - hearing it - seeing a wave come crashing in to the beach.

I got really crazy, 'snap happy' with the phone camera through the windshield and spammed my dads cell phone with pictures. He's seen the ocean a lot. I know he was laughing. He kept texting back, "don't get your feet wet" -  Then, the ocean sort of disappears again for a ride along the coast, through the farmland and redwoods. There was beauty every direction I looked...

And, it's so green here along the coast...

I think the commercials on tv are right and the cows are happy in California.

Watching the sun go down while driving along Highway 101 toward Crescent City, CA was a treat. It was just beautiful...

Every time the highway would come back along the coast, it was more beautiful, especially at sunset.

I was a little bummed that it was getting so dark before we got to our 'ocean side' room in Crescent city, but we just had to take the time - albeit getting quite dark - to get a snap of the 'Man-Child' by one of the humongous trees. He still owns a sawmill and he was a logger in his former life, so seeing the redwoods and these huge Ponderosa's and Douglas firs had him as excited also. The pickup truck was a buzz with an excited couple on a great adventure...

Stay tuned for day 2 & 3 coming soon...


  1. You are so funny! I'm in the Midwest, and I saw the Atlantic Ocean for the first time last year in Florida. You are right, it is awesome! The smell, the sound and the sight of the waves. Beautiful photos.

    1. It is hard to explain when it's your first trip. It's just what you thought it would be, only better. But, different... The waves are enchanting and the size of it - well, the sound lets you know it's HUGE. I don't have words to explain it. I fully intend to take a trip to the Atlantic Ocean in the next few years too!
      I hope you had a great Thanksgiving~~~


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