Below you can check out the daily route Trixie & I have taken on the first leg of our adventure. Checkout all the pics & videos of our journey beginning in Portland and ending in San Diego. And while we’ll be in SD for a month or so, we won’t stop trippin’!
Day 1: Portland to Newport
The trip from Portland to Newport doesn’t seem like it’s a long one given it’s less than three hours away, but we didn’t actually hit the road until nearly 3pm. It seemed that every exit I passed at the start was a new opportunity to retrieve something I “needed” for the trip. After four false starts, I finally got Wilma on the road to stretch her legs and run some.
Trixie was a champ from the get, curious about everything in the car and finding several comfortable spots to try out in the first hour. She finally settled on the front passenger seat, where I had setup her bed and attached several toys to various spots all around her. Once she was down, she was out, falling asleep for the the bulk of the drive, save the time or two I attempted to pet her and she annoyingly shook me away from her head. A true Tortie.
Once we hit Newport, I packed Trix up in her bubble backpack and we went to Rogue Brewery for dinner. As usual, she was amazing, curling up and taking another nap as the servers gawked over her. She’s so charming when she’s asleep!
Day 2: Newport to BK parking lot North of San Francisco
We left Newport before our checkout time of 11 am. Trixie had been up since 6, which translates into us being up since 6. While I got some good rest in, by the time I actually pulled myself out of bed an hour later, I had playtime scratches all over my arms. What was I saying about her being so charming??
We headed south toward the Redwoods – which was very near the top of my list of things to see on the drive. With four hours to go, I made sure to stop to take Trixie on leashed walks. These treks usually lasted about ten minutes, mostly with her anxiously surveying her surroundings before shrewdly taking a step or two. A barking dog or loud car had her slinking back toward the car, looking for a comfortable space inside.
As we cruised Trixie, emboldened, hopped up onto my dashboard, stretching out peacefully. I let her stay there for a few minutes before I realized I didn’t want her becoming overly comfortable in what seems to be a very dangerous space. I pulled the car off the road to reposition Trix as well as some things that had shifted, and was greeted by an substantial surprise. No more than 20 feet in front of us, a herd of elk began to cross the road. In outright awe, I got my camera rolling and moved my attention toward the view in front of me. I both laughed and cried as I watched the magnificent animals move out from behind the thicket on my right, tip-toeing hesitantly toward the field on my left. Eight and a half minutes that camera rolled as I sat in reverence .
Less than an hour later, we were on Redwood Highway. There was a lot of snow in the area this season, resulting in extended winter closure of the large parks. As such, I didn’t expect much more than a quick pass around the magical, idyllic place where one might view the towering trees. Thankfully, they lined the highway at the outskirts of the park, stoic and majestic, and as Trix slept, I hopped out of the car to snap a few pics of a prodigious grove of trees reaching far above. And, while I didn’t have the honor (or maybe audacity) to drive through a hollowed out 2,000 year old Redwood, I was so thankful to have the opportunity to see them outside of the state park.
As I snapped pics, a white utility truck with a fire fighter logo affixed on the side pulled into the muddy would-be turn off. As he jumped from his truck, the young (HOT) fireman called out to me about the beautiful weather, pulled off his shirt, exposing his chiseled chest, and exchanged it for another, presumably clean shirt. He gave me a wave, hopped in his truck and quickly drove off “into the sunset”. This guy? He knew what he was doing. My day was already amazing – he managed to be the cherry on top of it all. And poor Trixie missed out!
We hit Eureka by 8pm but the plan to stay in town was a bust as I was unable to find a hotel that would allow Trixie inside. After some time spent hunting around, I decided to drive another four or so hours to San Francisco. All intentions aside, however, given our lackadaisical attitude about our schedule, four hours later found us still two away from our destination. And as my eyes began to droop, I decided to pull over to get some rest.
We stopped at a deserted gas station and I positioned my car in a dark area by the dumpsters – not exactly innocuous in a red Mini Cooper. I stretched myself out best I could in my front seat and got a good hour of shut eye. I woke up to Trixie howling repeatedly, but to what end I was unsure. I found out within moments as she tucked herself into her bubble backpack and peed. Seems when I rearranged things in the car earlier, something had fallen onto her litter box, giving her no place to use the bathroom. Bad mom!
As I began to clean up, a bright light shone directly into my car and I knew I’d have to move from my sleeping spot. The young (HOT) cop was more curious about my Trippin’ with Trixie car stickers and what they represented than he was concerned about me being a delinquent on the street. After a laugh about my status as a famous person, Hot Cop sent me on the road again.
Another hour and a half and my eyes would no longer stay open. I was driving poorly, and the potholes weren’t helping any. It was now after 3am, and I eagerly looked for another deserted parking lot to sleep in. Finding a sleepy Burger King in a town about 50 miles outside of San Francisco, I cleaned out and rearranged things to give Trix and I a bit more room. Still, even without my entire life tucked in the back, a Mini isn’t exactly the most comfortable place to sleep. Ah well, at least it was an amazing day!
Day 3: BK parking lot North of San Francisco to Morro Bay
This day was mostly made up of driving. While I had plans to stop along the way to Morro Bay, I got caught up in traffic for a good two plus hours, causing me to just want to get off the road, already. Just as we were headed toward the hills, I passed a sign for the Sarah Winchester House of Mystery- the home of the wife of the man who created the famous lever-action repeating rifle.
The Mystery House, as it’s referred to, was steadily built for a total of 38 years, after the widow Winchester was told by a psychic that her bad luck came about because of the souls killed by her husband’s rifle. She advised her to continue building her home in order to frighten the spirits, and to confuse them with various parlor trick type illusions. Trixie wasn’t thrilled about being stuffed into her new backpack – she hated it, in fact, but as we toured I rocked her and she quickly fell asleep.
After an entertaining afternoon, we hopped back on the road – and right back into the bumper-to-bumper of it all. Another hour later and traffic thinned out, and we entered into a beautiful region of mountainous rolling hills, carpeted in a vibrant green. It was an uneventful yet incredibly beautiful drive. The hills surrounded the highway, and with each turn, opened wide before us to show us more of the grandeur, swallowing up behind us what we’d already been witness to.
We landed in the small and sleep bay town just in time to watch the sun set over the its namesake, Morro Rock. Trixie had slept almost the entire five hour drive, and she was very keen to move about. I eagerly pulled her for a walk around the massive, eons old geological formation, and she was not thrilled about it. Rather than force the issue, we sat on the bench and enjoyed the sunset.
We opted for an early evening in, with expectations of an early morning out, and found ourselves a cheap hotel that would allow the kid. Trix was thrilled to have a room to run around in – and run she did, zooming about so fast she looked like Speedy Gonzales. Sleep came fairly easily to us as both, and after wolfing down some oatmeal and a cosmic crisp apple, I was down for the count.
Day 4: Morro Bay to San Diego
Trixie woke me up, as she always does, about 6am with bites to the bridge of my nose. I’m not sure when the habit started, but she snips at my nose every morning when she’s ready to get up and play. Little shit, good thing I love her!