Father and Son Road Trip- 9 States, 2 Months, 6500 Miles!

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by TonyBKK, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    We stopped just off the trail near the base of the Upper Yosemite Falls for a snack and Adam let Kristhawee play with his harmonica-
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    Kristhawee thought that harmonica was really cool. I plan to get him one for his 6th birthday in April :evil
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    What an amazing place!
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    Another look back into the Yosemite Valley-
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    There's nothing for scale but this is North America's tallest waterfall! 2,425 feet (739 m)
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    Standing at the base we felt very very small indeed!
  2. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    On a whim we decided to see if we could hike down to the base of the falls. There's no trail and no doubt it's against the rules, but there was no one about and I was thinking maybe we'd find some pools we could cool off in at the base of the falls.
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    It was quite a scramble to get down, but we were rewarded by some nice cold pools and lots of wildflowers-
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    There were also some fantastic echoes off the granite cliffs and Kristhawee was having a lot of fun yodeling at the top of his lungs :D
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    Check out that hole in the granite - The amazing power of water erosion-
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    Sure enough we found some fantastic pools, freezing cold, but it was a hot day so they felt great!


    What an amazing place!
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    Looking downstream-
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    My son was enjoying himself immensely-
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    One of the pools we found at the base of Yosemite Falls. It's hard to get a sense of scale in these pictures-
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    This picture gives you a better sense of scale-
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    Now if that perfectly flat boulder isn't the perfect place for a nap in the sun, I don't know what it-
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    Kristhawee says "help me up!"
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    I didn't get a phone signal in the valley, but I did up here, so Kristhawee called his mom and grandma. Pretty cool place to place a call!
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    The sun was hot and we were starting to get sunburned, so found a nice shady spot at the base of a cliff-
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    Adam had brought along his chess set so we played a few games and I was happy to see that Kristhawee was keep to learn how to play. Kristhawee seemed quite fascinated by Adam's hand rolled cigarettes too...
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    Father and son at the base of Upper Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA!
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  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    We spent the whole day swimming and relaxing in the pools at the base of Upper Yosemite Falls. While the valley was packed full of tourists we had the Upper Falls all to ourselves! Finally it was time to hike back down to Camp 4-
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    Amazing views of Half Dome in the late afternoon light-
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    On the way down spotted this stash for "ASCA Bolt Replacement Project"-
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    More views of Half Dome-
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    Looking across the valley in the direction of Glacier Point-
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    Kristhawee was motoring down and I kept telling him to slow down as I was worried he'd crash and burn-
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    Stopped at the Columbia Rock overlook about half way down- you can see Camp 4 below-
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    Damn this kid is fast! I'm having a hard time keeping up!
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    Back at camp we pooled our resources and Adam cooked up a very good dinner :dg:
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    And we enjoyed watching the ground squirrels battle :lol3
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    Kristhawee really wanted to sleep in Adam's camping hammock, but eventually I dragged him back to our tent-
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    Good night!
  4. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    Yosemite National Park was magnificent and a definite highlight of our summer tour, but it's time to move on. Good morning my little prince!
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    We will ride to the Bay Area today to catch up with family and friends.
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    Gorgeous roads out of Yosemite National Park-
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    I guess this is why trucks and RV's aren't allowed on this road-
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    The temperature starts to climb quickly as we descend towards Mariposa on the Yosemite Highway 140-
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    Hotter and hotter---
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    We run into a spot of roadworks where the road is down to one lane due to a landslide and we have to wait at a light and the temp climbs quickly now that we're not moving. It reached as high as 112F (nearly 45C) on the Land Yacht's display- no way I can subject my son to this kind of heat!
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    We reach Mariposa and I pull in to the Miner's Inn and Restaurant where we take refuge from the blazing heat outside.
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    They're not busy and take a liking to my son and we end up hanging out there for a few hours until the late afternoon when the heat finally starts to subside. Back on the road it's an uneventful ride to San Francisco, and while we cooked during the day, San Francisco lived up to it's reputation ("The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" Mark Twain) and the temperature dropped quickly as soon as we crossed the Bay Bridge and we arrived at our destination quite chilled!
  5. HOFNAR

    HOFNAR Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Placer County
    Fantastic Ride Report. I just finished reading it. I must say, you've got one hell of an ex-wife to agree to let you take your son on this kind of trip. On the other hand, she IS Thai and probably doesn't have a fear of motorcycles since they're everywhere in Asia. By the way, did you end up selling the Big Land Yacht? I know in one your posts you mentioned leaving it with a friend in Wa.
  6. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    Thank you! The ex wasn't exactly happy about me taking our son on the trip, but she recognizes that I know how to ride and take his safety seriously.
    I still have the Land Yacht. Budget cutbacks in MN meant that title transfer, which used to be a same-day deal, now take 2-3 months. I didn't get the title until after I was already back in Thailand. And anyway, who wants to buy a motorcycle in September? Kind of happy that I still have it- looking forward to our next adventure! :D
  7. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,479
    Location:
    St. George, UT
    National Parks with your son! Fantastic trip. Lots of good memories here! :clap
  8. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    We spent a week in the Bay Area, catching up with family and friends. Apologies, not many motorcycle pics in this next section. My son is very close to his aunt and uncle in Mill Valley and they had a good time catching up. Kristhawee loved Old Mill Park when he was a toddler and still loves it now!​
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    Slides!
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    Old Redwood trees-
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    By chance his Aunt Leila and Cousin Mira were also in town from LA, so it was a nice little family reunion. Took my little guy to visit his great grandfather's final resting place and told him all about how special he was and why I named him after my Grandpa. Such a sweet kid, he got so quiet and sad and told me that he missed his great grandpa and that he was going to cry. The innocence and honesty of children never fails to impress.
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    Then we headed down to Sausalito to enjoy the sights and a blues concert in Gabrielson Park. Beautiful boats and the odd "Taj Mahal" houseboat at the Sausalito docks-
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    A beautiful California day!
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    My son taking in the views- Angel Island on the left and Alcatraz just behind the mast of the white sailboat-
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    My son really hit it off with his Cousin Mira. She's a grad student in New York and it turns out lives really close to my son. I hope they'll stay in touch when my son goes back to school in New York.
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    Mira, Mir and me in Sausalito, California-
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    My son enjoying ice cream with his Aunties-
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    Throwing the ball for Tawny-
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    Tawny is so old and had been very sick and from my uncle's emails I thought she had died so it was a wonderful surprise for my son and I to find her still very much alive!
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    Tawny is a clever old dog and knows how to time the waves to get out of the water with minimum risk and effort-
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    My son thought that was cool and wasn't content to just let Tawny get wet...
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    I give my wallet and phone to my aunt as I have a feeling I might have to fish him out of the bay...
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    He ended up getting quite soaked! [​IMG]
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    For someone who's not a strong swimmer, my son is pretty brave (or just trusting)
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    The waves come up to the top step, so he's getting out pretty far now...
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    It's actually a bit of a miracle that he didn't get sucked out into the Bay...
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    Cold and wet, out of his soaked clothes and into daddy's cozy North Face vest-
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    Goofy kid didn't want to leave, even though his lips were turning blue
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    Walking back to the car we encounter this cute girl practicing "static juggling" also known as "contact juggling" in Vina Del Mar park-
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    Kristhawee loves it!
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    Brief stop at Dunphy Park to check out the blues concert, but it was getting cold as the fog started to come over the hill so we didn't stick around too long-
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    Back home after a hot bath and dinner Kristhawee curled up on a chair and passed out. I carried him down to bed and he never woke up. Sweet dreams my beloved boy! Another full day awaits you tomorrow!
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  9. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    We slept in the next morning- after weeks of camping it's nice to have a real bed for a change!
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    Eventually the little guy woke up-
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    Mmmm, waffles with Honey Apple Butter for breakfast!
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    Breakfast out on the deck with Aunt Marcia- life is good!
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    Discovered a puncture in the rear tire of the Land Yacht. Picked up a nail in the city somewhere... Fortunately I had a stop'n'go repair kit along. Little guy helped out too :thumbup:
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    Later in the day my uncle drove us into San Francisco. First glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge, bathed in fog-
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    Fog over the Golden Gate usually means it will be chilly in the city-
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    We had Tawny along so we went to Crissy Field which is a dog-friendly park right on the San Francisco Bay-
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    Kristhawee has always loved kites, and so do I. Here my uncle helps him launch an Indonesian dragon kite-
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    Fly baby fly!
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    Kristhawee flying a kite in Crissy Field, San Francisco, CA-
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    My uncle had to go run some errands in the city so Kristhawee and I took Tawny for a walk along the bay-
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    Headed towards Torpedo Wharf and the Warming Hut-
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    The fog is trying to push in to the bay. You can just make out Alcatraz in the background, with the east bay beyond-
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    No dogs allowed in the historic Warming Hut-
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    Nor on the Torpedo Wharf, so I hold on to Tawny while Kristhawee runs out to have a look. Little guy is getting hungry so we hit up a hot dog stand-
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    We wander back along Mason St checking out Roaring Mouse Cycles, the House of Air and the huge climbing gym, Planet Granite. Kristhawee is getting tired-
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    Back at my uncle's place Kristhawee is happy to see his cousin Rochelle who is up from UC Santa Cruz for the weekend-
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    That evening we made brownies! Kristhawee did most of the work :mrgreen:
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    Homemade brownies a la mode for desert- Yum!
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  10. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    Following day was again a lazy morning, then we hiked down to the Tam Valley School, picking some blackberries along the way-
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    They have a really nice playground down there-
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    And a big open field perfect for kite flying!
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    Merrill and Marcia and Kristhawee!
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    The Indonesian dragon kite flies again!
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    In the afternoon we drove out to beautiful Muir Beach-
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    The water was breathtakingly cold! :eek1
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    Had to bury the little guy in warm sand to ward off hypothermia ;)
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    He didn't seem to mind :evil
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    Some more running around on the beach to stay warm-
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    A beautiful afternoon at Muir Beach, California-
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  11. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    Following day we fired up the old Land Yacht and rode in to the city. I've always enjoyed the California Academy of Sciences and was willing to bet my son would too!

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    http://www.calacademy.org/

    California is the most motorcycle friendly state in the union. The only state that allows motorcycle to split lanes, and in most locations they provide free parking for bikes too-
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    Stopped on the way to say hi to the Golden Gate bison- have to say, they look a bit sad compared to the wild bison we saw in South Dakota...
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    T-Rex is waiting to welcome us to the California Academy of Sciences!
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    Claude the albino alligator remains a crowd pleaser-
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    And they had a "pride" of baby ostriches running around in a pen outside- adorable little things-
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    Kristhawee really enjoyed the shark tank-
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    It was full of stingrays too!

    Jellyfish!
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    Some great hands-on displays where you can handle assorted sea critters-
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    Amazing walk-through aquariums!
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    So much to see! Would you believe that the California Academy of Sciences is home to more than 40,000 anuimals! Leafy sea dragons, anacondas, giant octopus, Amazonian piranhas, Borneo fruit bats, leaf-tailed geckos, tanagers, butterflies, and much much more! We move up to the rain forest exhibit which is full of butterflies, tropical birds, lizards, geckos, frogs and more-
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    Butterflies galore!
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    Spiders too!
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    Another look at Claude the lazy albino alligator-
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    Mean looking eels-
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    Re-visiting the shark tank-
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    Lunch!
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    My little dude is such a babe magnet :lol3
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    After a full day at the California Academy of Sciences we rode across the Bay Bridge to visit some friends in the East Bay, stopping along the way at REI in Berkely to pick up some gear for the rest of our trip-
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  12. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    Stupid photobucket bandwidth limit... Going to move all the pictures to my own server and change all the links. This is gonna take a while...
  13. Syntroxis

    Syntroxis Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    BryanTexas
    Thanks for taking the time to re-do all the pics. What a great time y'all had together.:thumb
  14. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    As much as we would love to spend more time in the Bay Area, we need to start heading north to get Kristhawee to Seattle in time to start Kindergarden. My aunt and uncle decide to accompany us as far as Bodega Bay and Kristhawee takes a break from the Land Yacht and goes in the car-
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    A short blast up the 101, then northwest on the beautiful Sir Francis Drake Boulevard-
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    A brief stop in the cute little town of Nicasio for snacks and drinks-
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    More great roads and beautiful scenery in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area-
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    Highway 1 approaching Tomales Bay-
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    Beautiful Tomales Bay, California-
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    We make a brief stop at Miller Park to take in the views and stretch our legs-
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    More curves as we approach the little town of Tomales, CA-
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    We arrive in historic Tomales for a late lunch-
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    Good eating at the Tomales Deli and Cafe!
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    Tawny and Kristhawee in Tomales, CA-
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    Kristhawee with ice cream; looks like Tawny wants a taste [​IMG]
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    From Tomales we continued north a little ways and stopped to visit some friends who have a really cool farm in the Sonoma mountains-
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    Kristhawee found a new friend. I'm not "kidding" [​IMG]
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    Some pretty cool animals on this farm-
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    These are, if I remember correctly, a special breed of goats imported from Ireland?
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    They breed some very cool dogs here- I've been wracking my brain for the name of this breed but it eludes me...
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    Kristhawee was really enjoying the farm-
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    Baby ducks-
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    And a real treat- a huge litter of week-old puppies!
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    Buried in puppies, gotta love it!
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    Kristhawee sang this little guy to sleep- so adorable!
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  15. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    Our friends have, hidden deep in the woods, a most amazing treehouse. It's a bit of a hike and not easy to find, but wow, they really went all out!
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    A spiral staircase leads you to a series of suspended bridges that take you through towering trees to the tree house itself-
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    They used to throw some pretty far out parties up here back in the day, but looks like it doesn't get much use anymore...
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    Kristhawee had never seen a tree house quite like this one!
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    Poor Tawny was not very happy about being left down on the ground [​IMG]
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    Heading back down-
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    By the time we got back to the farm house the fog was rolling in and it was getting chilly-
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    Time to press on to Bodega Bay!
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  16. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    Bodega Dunes State Park-
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    We found a nice camping spot in the Bodega Dunes Campground-
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    Kristhawee enjoyed playing in the dunes-
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    Wine and cheese [​IMG]
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    That evening my aunt and uncle treated us to a fantastic dinner at the Tide's Wharf. Kristhawee and Marcia looking through pictures-
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    My kid borrowed the camera and took these pictures.
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    He then wandered off with my camera and little did I know he was having a photo session with the hot server girl
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    Good on ya Kristhawee!
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    Back at the campground it was a teary goodbye as Kristhawee had really become attached to my aunt and uncle... Even the next morning there were still some tears-
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    But we managed to connect with them on Skype and Kristhawee was very happy to be able to chat with them and we all promised that we would get together again as soon as possible.
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    That morning we hiked over the dunes to visit the Bodega Port-
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    Cold, grey and foggy this morning-
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    Found a small shop and got a hot chocolate for Kristhawee and some coffee for me, then we went exploring on the docks-
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    Lots of seals swimming around and lazing on the docks-
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    Fun to watch the pelicans smash into the water and come up with fish-
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    Kristhawee giving a moth a kiss [​IMG]
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    Time to head on back to camp and hit the road!
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    Today's destination- Humboldt Redwoods State Park!
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  17. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    Cold grey and foggy as we ride up the California coast on Highway 1
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    59 degrees Fahrneheit (about 15 Celsius) Again we're thankful for the heated seats [​IMG]

    Cross the Willow Creek and hang a left to stay on the Coast Highway to Fort Bragg-
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    Jenner is a cheerful little town on a sunny day...
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    Continued cold and foggy. Kristhawee is snoozing behind me, and I can't say that I blame him [​IMG]
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    In some places the fog is so thick that visibility is restricted and I had to go pretty slow. In some places you could hear the waves crashing below, but couldn't actually see ocean.
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  18. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    I wanted to visit Fort Ross, the southernmost Russian settlement in North America between 1812 to 1842, but unfortunately, due to budget cutbacks, it was closed... [​IMG]
    Pretty cool story- The west coast of the US would probably have belonged to Russia if not for the fact that they couldn't grow potatoes here and therefore deemed it unworthy of settlement and sold it to a private buyer for $30,000 [​IMG]

    We stopped at the Fort Ross Store to grab some lunch. They have a pretty nice deli and restaurant. My little dude never seems to get tired of hot dogs... [​IMG]

    Ice cream for dessert-
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    All smiles!
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    We continue north, riding along the coast through Salt Point State Park-
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    Nice rig!
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    Onwards we ride, through Manchester State Park, past countless coves, through Mendocino to Fort Bragg. I'm getting tired of the cold and fog and want to see some sun so we head inland at Fort Bragg towards Willits and the 101-
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    Highway 20, the Fort Bragg-Willits Road is a nice ride through the Jackson State Forest, and as soon as we're away from the coast the sun comes out and temperatures rise dramatically- in the span of only ~30 miles the temperature goes from from ~60 degrees to 100! [​IMG]
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    We stop in Willits, Gateway to the Redwoods, to cool down, get some drinks, and buy supplies for our next camping spot.
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    We make good time north on the 101 and as long as we're moving the temperature is bearable-
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    This northern part of the 101 is called the Redwood Highway-
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    It's late afternoon and my little guy is in a good mood-
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    I can't remember what we were talking about, but it must have been something funny [​IMG]
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    Welcome to Humboldt Redwoods State Park! We made it!
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  19. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    We exit the 101 and continue into Humboldt Redwoods State Park on the Avenue of the Giants- a remarkable road that takes you through the amazing redwood forest-
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    We arrive at the Hidden Springs Campground shortly before sunset-
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    We grab spot 134 which is near the trailhead to the Williams Grove-
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    The campground is quite empty, but we do find a nice family with a boy about Kristhawee's age, and they enjoyed hanging out while I set up camp.
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    Once the sun set it was pitch dark under the redwoods- we built a nice fire and went to bed fairly early.

    Up early the next morning, we were keen to explore the park and see some big trees!

    There's a lot to see in Humboldt Redwoods State Park!
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    This stump is in our campground; a reminder of days past when logging was big business in this area-
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    Figured we'd burn too much time hiking to the Williams Grove and back, so loaded up the Land Yacht and rode there. Kristhawee is getting geared up for our short ride to the Williams Grove-
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    All packed up!
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    Ready to roll!
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    Parking at Williams Grove- the size of these Redwoods makes the Land Yacht look tiny!
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  20. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Secret Soi Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    The Big Mango, Bangkok, Thailand
    It's a beautiful August morning and we walk down to the Eel River to find the trail to the Williams Grove-
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    Kristhawee discovers that the shallows are full of tadpoles! This guy already has his rear legs and will be ready to leave the water soon-
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    Walking along the bank of the Eel River in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Northern California-
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    We reach the temporary bridge that will take us to the Williams Grove trail-
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    The water is so low this late in the summer, that the bridge isn't really necessary-
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    These temporary bridges are taken down every fall and put back up in the spring after the snows have melted and water levels drop to the point they won't be washed away.

    Kristhawee under a massive fallen redwood-
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    Welcome to the Williams Grove! So peaceful and quiet here-
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    We spend a little while wandering around in the woods, feeling small amongst these giant trees, then head back to the river-
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    My little guy wants to go swimming. I think that's a fantastic idea!
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    C'mon in the water's fine!
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    Kristhawee in the Eel River, Humboldt Redwoods State Park-
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    Self portrait [​IMG]
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    Under water too! [​IMG]
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    A striking blue and red dragonfly-
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    Kristhawee finds a cool rock with a hole in it-
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    We spot a interesting looking fish who thinks we can't see him [​IMG]
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    We lounged around in that refreshing creek for a long time, and Kristhawee practiced floating on his back and letting the current take him downstream- good fun!

    He also liked to try catching the tadpoles, but fortunately they were too quick for him-
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    Finally I had to insist that we get going. I wanted to get to Redwood National Park at a decent hour as I hear campsites there can be hard to find. Walking back to the bike I spotted a huge blackberry bush-
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    Kristhawee pigged out on fresh blackberries before we saddled up and hit the road.
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    Next stop- Redwood National Park! [​IMG]