Mountain air is much cooler than seaside air and therefore we have breakfast within the comfort of our motorhome. We have gotten hooked on flipping bitches and with the smoke detector relocated they are prepared without disturbance. After breakfast we decide that today is a stinky pyjama day and move straight into driving position, we will bath in fresh air today. For the first section of the trip I hand over the controls to Marlies to get some experience in a vehicle larger than our Smart. She handles it like a champ and we continue on the last miles of the Avenue of the Giants. They do not stop to impress us with their appearance and therefore we decide that we take a U turn at the end. This is also the most southern point of our journey and with the U turn we start our return drive to Canada. We make a few more stops on the Avenue to spend more time amidst the Giants and include a visit to the information centre. The most intriguing to see is how amongst these Giants the trucks that we normally see as huge become like toy cars, they make everything seem small.
We leave the Giants behind at drive on to the 101 again, which we will follow up to Crescent City before heading inland on the 199. Full of passion and without any sense of tone we sing along with our Spotify favourites and around two Marlies becomes quiet and a bit grumpy. This is very rare as she is always the perfect travel partner. Lack of food however results in this hangry state of mind. We both can suffer from this and the solution is simple, pull over and eat. We pull over of the highway at the beach for eggs and sausage and at that point I decide that I need some sort of shower or bath and find the Ocean a suitable means. Good thing I packed my shorts, I change, run, dip and run back. Not as cold as the North Sea but nevertheless very refreshing.
We drive of again and take in the last views of the Pacific before parting from our much appreciated 101 and head east on the 199. We expect a dull road through a not much exhilarating landscape, mainly the result of no preparations. We are proven wrong and are one gain treated to an impressive landscape which takes through more sequoia trees, snow-covered mountaintops, all resulting in a mix of ohs, ahs and wows. We do a pitstop for gas and some groceries and decide to not park at the RV camp but to drive on since it’s only five o’clock. The road becomes more narrow and takes us further up into the mountains. Not surprisingly, as we get higher up the mountain the amount of snow on each side of the road increases as well. And with the sun going down we contemplate on the chance of an RV park being open in this area that on overage is covered in 3 feet of snow. We call it adventure and drive on, we pass road workers fixing broken electric lines and are passed by several snow ploughs. We turn up the radio and the heat and pass the first closed RV parks. We are now expecting to be driving deep into the night to reach a snowfree place to spend the night until we pass Mountain Man RV park. The office has a welcoming sign informing us “ NO VACANCIES” and the door is locked. As we are considering our options a man pulls up in his car, he has the characteristics a RV park owner but we quickly learn he’s Bruce. Bruce has been here for a few months now and that everything is f*cked by the snowfall. When we tell him the office door is locked his response is: well kick in the bloody door. Laughing out loud he bangs on the door after which the park owner shows himself, to our surprise without sticking out a shotgun first. He knows Bruce by now and asks if Bruce knows us, no I don’t but I am introducing them, and this is enough for the man to let us in. The power has been down for days and the park will probably flood in the coming days but for one night we are save. We are assigned on of the few places that has been cleared from snow although we might have to dig for our hook ups (water, power, sewer). The fee for the night is to be paid in cash or cheque, no that’s a problem. I had realised earlier today that this was the first holiday on which I hadn’t had any foreign currency, only plastic. The boss will settle if we drive to town tomorrow to the ATM and return with the fee, as long as I leave either my drivers license or Marlies behind as a safety deposit.
Pleased to have found a campsite we drive through the ice park and with some loud directions of Bruce we back into our spot surrounded by snow. All heaters on we settle in for a quiet night by the Illinois river. And WiFi not allowing any images.
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