NORTH OF CALIFORNIA AND SAN FRANCISCO
We continue our journey along the Oregon coast, which, as mentioned in the previous publication, is like a movie all the way, we stopped, we got on single-lane roads, I took pictures, my dad smoked his pipe and we found what would be the best lunch of the whole trip: The Crazy Norwegian ‘s in the small town of Port Orford. The place does not look much big, it’s small, with little drawings on the facade and colorful tablecloths (I loved my entrance, my mom was not so convinced) but as soon as you enter you realize that it is a special place. The fish and chips are championship and not to mention the crab cakes. And to close with a flourish: the foot of coconut with cream I have no adjectives to explain how good it was … just believe me and go please.
We continue our way on the 101 until we get to the state of California and arrive at Crescent City, a small town but it is special because there is the Visitor Center of my favorite place in the whole walk: Redwood National Park.
The Visitor Center is open until 5 pm as we arrived a little late we could not enter but we continued to park that if it is open 24 hours.
The park is actually a forest of giant redwoods and centenaries with a road in the middle … ..so if one is not attentive, it can happen to him that he goes straight and sees just the surface of the park. I read this on the internet and as we arrived late to the Visitor Center we entered a camping area of the park and in the porter they gave us this map that was the salvation.
It must be delayed a bit to load because it is scanned in high resolution but the idea is that you can zoom in and read it because it is not available on the internet (you’re welcome!). The important thing to know here is that when you go south on the 101 you have to turn off at exit 765 on the right towards Newton B Drury Parkway, on this road there are bays on both sides where you can park the car and start Walking the paths between the trees.
There are no words, no cameras that can transmit what one feels standing under these giants, they have their own microclimate, under some it rains because they are so high that it seems that the drops of their branches came from the sky, and in the roots they have plump fern mattresses that benefit from the shade of these large trees.
What I liked the most is that there are no crowds or despelotes, one chooses its path and has a forest as of the Mesozoic period for one … It is a place of power without a doubt.
We saw only females but it was very nice to see them there as if they were vaquitas.
That night we slept in a village called Eureka and that is between the two branches of the park.
The next day we continue to the south and we went to the “Avenue of the Giants” ( Avenue of the Giants ), another amazing road surrounded by forests of more than 500 years.
Here I leave you the map scanned in high resolution so you can use it.
We stopped for lunch in a place where the pizza is delicious and the people are very cool called Avenue Cafe .
We continue our way to the south more than happy to have gone through this beautiful park and arrived at 6 in the afternoon to San Francisco. As we entered through the Golden Gate, we decided to stop at Marin Headlands which is a place next to the bridge that has a beautiful view over the bay and the city. Wear a jacket because the wind cuts even in summer but it is worth the mini detour.
Before starting with San Francisco I have to make the clarification that the 3 participants of this trip had already come to this city, so this time we are dedicated only to visit favorite places and know more local and less tourist secrets. If you asked me about San Francisco, what I did when I first came here, I would recommend:
Pass the Golden Gate by bike (rented at the pier) and go to Sauzalito to have lunch and cross again by ferry.
Visit the Academy of Sciences of California and the Young Museum that is in front.
Visit Muir Woods in the outskirts (another redwood forest where the Star Wars Eewoks part was filmed …yes … I’m a nerd).
Visit Japan Center .
Walk through the Chinatown.
Take a stroll through the neighborhoods: Pacific Heights and Hayes Valley (good restaurants and shops).
Walk through the Castro District (the neighborhood where all gay activism began) and by Haight Ashbury (the hippie neighborhood par excellence).
On this trip we start our way with a breakfast in a wonderful place called Plow, it is in a neighborhood far from the center called Potrero Hill but it is so rich that it is worth sticking the little girl; As with Portland, try to arrive early because the line can be hours.
After breakfast we went through the Ferry Building Marketplace which is a market on the edge of the bay, very touristy but very nice and worth going for a walk around the little shops and eating a fresh oyster.
A favorite place of all of us and we all wanted to return was the Golden Gate park, a beautiful park that flows into the beach and where the Academy of Sciences and the Young Museum are. In the latter there was an exhibition by Ed Ruscha (a very representative artist of the west coast) that is worth seeing.
In this park we also walked a bit and visited the conservatory, which, although it is less cute than the one in Volunteer Park in Seattle, has a lot of lotuses and very nice carnivorous plants.
We were also at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, which has just been reopened and is very worthwhile. We had many beautiful exhibitions and the building is just a work of art.
We visited another very nice place that is in the industrial zone of San Francisco. A nursery / coffee called Flora Grubb. It is one of those places where you would like to live.
At my request, we spent the last afternoon walking through the Mission Dolores neighborhood, which is my favorite in the city. Valencia street is full of shops and beautiful places (my favorite store is called The Paxton Gate which is like curiosities of nature) and just two blocks away is Dolores Park which is an amazing place to rest, see people, eat ice cream and spend the sunset.
Another place we visited was Twin Peaks, the highest point in San Francisco that has a beautiful view but is ICE CREAM! I did not have a thick jacket so I only managed to look out and the wind I had my shelter in the car.
We closed with a flourish eating with a great friend of mine who lives there in a delicious thai restaurant in Hayes Valley called Lers Ros.