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Our original destination...
I’ve always wanted to see San Francisco…from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Golden Gate Bridge to Chinatown.  And San Francisco was the original plan.  We started out last Thursday morning driving one hour to the Pacific Coast where we picked up highway 101 which hugs the coastline through Oregon and Northern California.  Unfortunately, the weather was clearly not cooperating.  We drove through cold, hard-blowing, horizontal sheets of rain.  The wind wasn’t just blowing hard – it was absolutely gusting.  Occasionally, there were yellow warning signs along the coastline clearly spelling out the danger:  Wind Gusts!  They were right about that!

In one small Oregon coastline town, we stopped (in the pouring rain) at an antique store that we have never actually found open before.  It was open on that rainy Thursday morning.  I found a “4-in-1” Lodge cast iron dutch oven.  I’m not usually a negotiator but I thought the price he had on it was a little high, so I made him an offer and he took it.  It’s in perfect condition and I’m looking forward to cooking with it.  That skillet would end up my souvenier of this trip.

We got back in the car and proceeded on through the rain and wind.  There were times the view of the rocky Pacific coast was totally obscured.  One of the most memorable aspects of the drive from Oregon into California is driving along the magnificent “Redwood Highway”.  The winding road is cut through a dark forest of amazing giants and is called the “Avenue of the Giants”.  We stopped at the “tourist attraction”  Trees of Mystery.  My grandchildren would have liked Paul Bunyon and the Blue Ox!

Not long after arriving in California, we came upon an elk preserve and I finally got to see ELK up close and personal!  Several whole herds of elk.  Unfortunately, it was still raining at this point so my photos are not that great but I loved seeing them.


After a long day of driving through rain and wind gusts, we decided we were tired and stopped for the night at Eureka, California.The next morning, we headed down the coast to Bodega Bay, California…the location for the Alfred Hitchcock film, “The Birds”.  It was still raining at this point and, again, we fought wind gusts and deep banks of fog.  We had to get off of highway 101 and onto highway 1 which would take us into Bodega Bay.  We took the Guerneville exit which took us into breathtaking Sonoma County wine country through a serpentine road.  This would have made a great movie!  There were no signs until we finally saw one that said Bodega Bay…23 more miles of winding road!  We spent the night at the Bodega Harbor Inn, an old motor court from the fifties which  has been revamped.  It’s actually where Jacque Cousteau stays when he visits Bodega Bay.  It’s reasonable and felt a bit historical.  Before we settled in and darkness fell, I wanted to see the old school house, so we drove the four miles into Bodega where the school house and the old church are.  It’s a quaint little community with photos from the movie “The Birds” in the stores.  The school house is now privately owned and has been totally restored.  The next morning, we had breakfast at The Tides restaurant (remember The Tides in the movie?).  The original restaurant burned down and was rebuilt.  The dock is still there and the view of the boat ride that “Melanie” (Tippi Hedren) took across the bay.  The Brenner farmhouse burned down a couple of years after the film was made.  Altogether, it was a neat visit to Bodega Bay!

The Bodega Bay harbor dock.

 Remember the Bodega Bay Schoolhouse from the movie? 

The Bodega Bay Schoolhouse…now a private home.


A few of “the birds” in Bodega Bay…



A couple of photographs from the movie “The Birds” on the wall at The Tides Restaurant…


The  next morning, the sun was trying to come out through dark clouds, but we had made the decision that we were tired and were ready to head back home.  We also decided that when the time came for us to travel to San Francisco, we would FLY!

We traveled back through beautiful Napa Valley and, once again, saw one amazing vineyard after the other.  It was our anniversary and St. Patrick’s Day, and we were seeing beautiful countryside.  We drove through Old Sacramento and decided that Sacramento would be a future fun Amtrak trip.  We spent the last night of our trip in Redding, California.  The next morning we headed home over five snowy mountain passes…with  my favorite being  Mt. Shasta.

We arrived safely home and, thankfully, found ten hens and three Boer goats waiting for us…unharmed by the local cougar wildlife.  I rang their little cowbell and the goats came running from the lower pasture…as if to say “what took you so long?”

4 Responses to The best laid plans…

  • Karen says:

    Great pictures of your trip, even in the rain! Love the picture of the road through the redwoods, and the pier in Bodega Bay. I remember that movie, but haven’t seen it in so many years, but the pictures brought back the memories. Sorry the weather was so bad! You will have to show us something you cooked in your new pan! xx

  • Farmlady says:

    Oh my, you hit all the horrible weather that came over us last week. That’s a shame. I think that it was wise to wait on San Francisco. It takes quite a few days to see it well. Going to Napa Valley (where my relatives were from) and cutting across to Sacramento was a good idea. Highway 5 is a straight shot back up to your place and much safer than the coast highway.
    Enjoyed the photos. Haven’t been to Bodega Bay in a very long time… or the Redwoods. You have reminded me of the beauty right here in my own state and it makes me want to go up and see it all again.
    Glad you’re home and safe.

  • Christine says:

    We visited Paul Bunyon and the Ox in the redwoods a few years ago on a visit back to Oregon. I remember it vividly from my childhood! Sorry you never made it to SF. But it sounds like you made the most of your trip in difficult weather. My grandparents lived in Redding and I know that drive up and over Mt. Shasta. We usually went to visit them in the blistering heat of the summertime, but sometimes also at Christmas, when it could be very snowy and uncertain if we would get across the mountains.

    A belated Happy Anniversary!

  • Sunny says:

    Beautiful photos and That would have been an amazing trip!!! The Birds was one of my fav movies and I would have loved to have visited there!!! Imagine the school being a private home now!! Wow!!
    And those birdies dont LOOK evil, now do they??




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