It was nice waking up in our cozy room at Callahan’s Mountain Lodge. We knew we had the tire to deal with but we decided to make the most of our accommodations first. We used our $25 breakfast coupon to order room service. We both enjoyed the Eggs Benedict ( vegetarian for me), hash browns, and coffee and with the coupon, we only needed to cover the tip. As much as I enjoy camping and cooking on our Coleman stove, this was a nice change of pace. After breakfast, it was time to pack up and take care of that tire.
The maintenance man at the lodge was kind enough to put air in it for us and we had our compressor if it needed more air before we made it to our destination. As we drove, we kept a close eye on the tire pressure so we could stop and pump it up if needed. Fortunately, we made it to Les Schwab Tire Center in Ashland with no problem. After looking at the tire, we were informed that the tread was too far gone to patch the tire so we needed to buy two new tires. They gave us a few options to choose from and got us taken care of pretty quickly. The waiting area had coffee, wifi, magazines, and popcorn so it was quite a pleasant wait actually.
With beautiful new tires on the Jeep, we were ready to drive the short distance across the border into California to get our first look at the Redwoods. As we drove into the Redwoods State and National Park, we were amazed. The trees are just incredible. It is impossible to really do them justice with a camera. The only way to get some perspective is to have a person in the photo so you can see how big the tree is in comparison. We recorded the drive as we made our way through the park planning to come back to hike when we had more time.
We found our home for the night at Florence Keller County Park in Crescent City. The campsites were tucked into the trees (young Redwoods)) and had picnic tables and fire rings. Potable water and clean restrooms with running water added to the amenities. We enjoyed chatting with our campsite neighbor who was from Nevada. He gave us some good ideas for some out of the way places to visit along the coast. Most of our best places turn out to be suggestions from other travelers, so we are always glad to get them. We made a quick dinner then it was time to jump in the Jeep and relax after a busy day.
The next morning dawned sunny but cool inside the trees. We decided to make coffee and breakfast in the day use picnic area to take advantage of the sun. Nothing gets my day off on the right foot more than drinking a cup of coffee in the warm sun. We took our time enjoying the beautiful morning before packing up camp and heading to Crescent City to find a coffee shop with wifi.
We stopped at a very cute coffee shop called Java Hut. It was small but nicely decorated and painted a cheery yellow color. The service and coffee were great but the wifi was really slow so we enjoyed our Americanos then headed to the nearest Starbucks. We prefer to support the independent shops as much as possible but the wifi at Starbucks is generally pretty reliable.
Going to Starbucks turned out to be a good thing because we met a very friendly woman named Nancy there. She was very funny and outgoing. She suggested some places to visit in the area and even gave us some ideas for places to go if we ever decide to take our travels to Europe. She highly recommended backpacking in Spain and Portugal. We are focused on the US right now but it is definitely on our list for someday. We exchanged information so we can keep in touch.
It was time to find a place for the night and freecampsites.net led us to an unexpected but fun spot. Lucky 7 Casino in nearby Smith River allows you to park overnight for one night in their parking lot so we decided to give it a try. We checked in with security first to make sure it was ok before heading into the casino. We had fun spending a few dollars on the machines and enjoying the free coffee, tea, and soda. The restaurant had a surprisingly good soup and salad bar that made for a nice dinner before we headed to the jeep for the night.