California Camping Road Trip

One of the trips that was canceled as a result of the pandemic was my ex’s lifelong dream of camping her way up to the Redwood Forrest. After reading The Legacy of Luna as a kid, Vanessa has wanted to see the Redwood trees for herself ever since. She had tried to plan the trip in 2019, we tried twice to make this happen in 2020, but it wasn’t until this April of 2021 that we were able to make her dream a reality. People probably don’t understand how ex’s can go on a trip together – especially since I’m in a relationship with someone else – but this felt absolutely normal to us and I didn’t want to miss out.

The trip was AMAZING! California is such a beautiful state, and I loved (almost) all of the campgrounds we stayed in. Vanessa actually cried when she saw the huge Redwood trees – multiple times, actually! We’ve got camping down to a routine, and it was great to have so much time off to just explore and enjoy. My favorite part of the entire trip was the 45 minutes we spent on this random beach we found on our drive – about 30 minutes south of where we stayed in the Redwood National Forrest. We got to run around with the dogs, had a ton of laughs, and it was completely serendipitous.

I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m thankful that we were able to safely travel all over the state of California after a year of this pandemic. I’m thankful that I harvest healthy relationships in my life that lead to genuine long-term friendships. I’m thankful that the dogs are great travelers who make the trip extra fun. I’m thankful for the amazing and understanding girlfriend that I got to come home to. And I’m thankful that Vanessa still wanted to include me on this incredible adventure.

Here’s the rough breakdown of our trip followed by my video and some awesome pictures:

Day One: 6.5 hour drive from Tucson to Barton Flats Campground in San Bernardino National Forrest
Day Two: 9 hour drive to Kelsey Creek Campground in Clear Lake State Park
Day Three: 4.5 hour drive to Elk Prairie Campground in Redwood State and National Forrest
Day Four: 4.5 hour drive to Wildcat Campground in Hendy Woods State Park
Day Five: No driving! Another day in Hendy Woods
Day Six: 2 hour drive to Bodega Dunes Campground in Sonoma Coast State Park
Day Seven: 8.5 hour drive to Black Rock Campground in Joshua Tree National Park
Day Eight: 6.5 hour drive home to Tucson

This was honestly a once in a lifetime kind of trip, and I am so lucky to have gotten to experience this adventure this year.

Thanks for reading!

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