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Adventure begins with road trips! And that’s exactly what Bethany and I did to kick off the 2016 new year. If you’ve been following my blog since I went to Vietnam, let me remind you…the first day of 2015 I road tripped in a van through the mountains of Central Vietnam, driving North headed to Da Nang overlooking mountains on my left, the ocean on my right.

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Hammock hang on a dead tree in Big Basin Redwoods State Park

One year later, I’m doing the exact same thing, except this time headed South from San Francisco down the coast of California witnessing America’s Western coastline for the first time on my right, and the mountain ranges from a distance on my left. A few minutes after cruising down Highway 1 towards Big Basin Redwoods State Park, it hit me like deja vu…I was doing this exact same on New Years Day one year ago. A surreal moment for me and I could not stop smiling. We stopped to take ridiculously excited photos and videos and so I could feel the freezing Pacific coast waters.

After an hour of driving down the coast we turned left and made our way to California’s first state park, winding up mountains and losing our GPS service. We reserved our campsite and drove our little Volkswagen Beetle rental to our home away from home for the night. The second I opened the car door, I could not believe, not only my eyes of all of the surrounding beauty, but my nose! I have never breathed in such pure air in my entire life, the crisp smell of Redwood trees and the untainted nature. All of my senses were so alive; there was only silence to be heard in our secluded campground. Bethany and I just stood in the peace and stillness of the forest for probably the first 30 minutes of our arrival. These city girls had finally made it to the top of the Northern California mountains.


We spent the entire day hiking all through the gorgeous state park. Hours upon hours of breathing in the pure, crisp winter air and taking all of the scenes in. Not wanting to harm the healthy park trees, during the hike we found at a dead tree branch and stopped for a hammock hanging break, as shown in the feature photo.

We arrived back at our “one million star hotel” just as dusk was beginning, and having only 4 hours of sleep the night before and hiking miles around the park, we were dreadfully exhausted to say the least. So I unpacked my brand new Kammok Thylacine Sleeping Bag I got for Christmas, and we got snuggled in for the night. The COLD night. Bethany is from the Northwestern part of the country, but I am definitely a Texan and could not handle the frigid night. So halfway into the evening I wimped out and spent the rest of the night in the Beetle. Should have purchased that base bag liner.

I was awoken by the door opening at 5 in the morning. It was Bethany immediately turning the heat on. I guess she couldn’t take the cold all night either. We had another early start to the day, attempting to get the car rental back by 9am so we wouldn’t be charged another day. I drove this time down the winding mountain as we watched the sun rise through the layers of dense forest. Our adventure continued on as we made our way back to the city.

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