For the past few days, our destination has been off the beaten path, hence the blog title. We drove about 6 hours down Highway 101 out of Oregon and into California. We just hit the big Redwoods in northern California before stopping in the National Forest to camp for the night. Part of the National Forest designation is the ability to camp on unmarked sites. Basically, you drive down a service road until you come to a level spot, and you pitch your tent! You never know what you’re going to find – a fire pit, a pit toilet, or nothing.
At the end of our road we found a flat space and some ashen remains of a fire. A perfect home for the night!
By my estimations we were right about here:
The mosquitos at the spot were pretty fierce, and the next morning I woke up looking like this:
Nope, not photoshopped, I looked that good. It took almost two days for my eyes to get completely back to normal.
The next day, we drove for a few more hours south and stopped for a surf along the way. The water was freezing! Good thing I bought a nice thick wetsuit and some booties. It was about 50 degrees. Brrrrr.
We decided a good place to end the night was in Humbolt Redwoods Forest State Park. We looked into camping in the park, but were shocked to find it was $35 a night for a bit of dirt to park your tent on! We might as well check into a sleazy motel for those dollars.
We drove off a side road and talked to a man that was selling firewood. We mentioned the price of camping to him and he said, “It’s just ridiculous! That’s our land!” We asked him if there was a place to camp for free in the area and he told us about a secret spot, right along Eel River. It turned out to be as close to paradise as you can get as a camper. Pat just informed me that it’s the third largest watershed in California. Thanks Pat!
Our backyard for three nights:
Doesn’t this look like an ad for Marmot tents?