Posts Tagged ‘Hwy 101’

2011 Road Trip – Day 1

September 11, 2011 Leave a comment

After 17 hours and we’re where…?

Petamula…yes, Petamula.  It’s a town in Sonoma County that’s about 20 minutes West of Sonoma.  It was an ideal stopping point for us in our trek from Portland on our West Coast road trip.  After months of planning, we were finally on our way! Now in order to give us enough time  (and daylight) to visit the sand dunes of the Oregon Coast, the cranberry bogs in Bandon, OR, the giant redwoods of Northern CA, we had to leave around 6am.  It would put us in Petamula around 12-1am the next morning.  We actually made it down around 11:30pm so just a little bit ahead of schedule.

Before this trip, the furthest South I’ve ever driven was  down to Coos Bay, OR…and that was just earlier this year!  Granted we the ubiquitous family trips down to Southern CA when I was younger, but it mainly consisted of driving as fast as you can in the middle of the night on I-5 just to get down in time for dinner the next day.  The many sites of the Oregon and California coast was the main reason we decided to drive Hwy 101 for most of the trip.

Our first stop were the sand dunes in Florence, Oregon.  Tina and Diane had never been to the dunes.  It was an amazing site.  We pulled into two sites off the highway.

Getting up the first dune

The first one was near the ocean and offered views of the sandy beaches.  The second spot was a vastly different experience.  We had to climb up a steep dune, where with each step our feet sank deeper and deeper into the sand.

Steep Second Dune

As Diane mentioned, it was like something out of movie Aladdin.  Our efforts in reaching the top was not without its rewards.

Ocean View - Oregon Dunes

We saw dunes upon dunes that makes this stop worthwhile.  After the treacherous ascend and descend of the dunes, it was time to eat.

Lunch at Bandon Fish Market

Our next destination was Bandon, Oregon.  According to our West Coast Road Eats book, there’s a fish market in town that serves great fish and chips, but before we could eat, I had to make a quick stop to Bandon Dunes to check out the golf course.  Didn’t get a chance to play, but looking forward to one day.

It was a beautiful drive down the coast.  The skies were overcast, but we views were simply stunning.  What was more stunning was driving through the Avenue of the Giants and seeing how big those trees are!  They seem to just jump out at you while you meander through the woods.  It is something one must see at least once in their lifetime.

We concluded our drive in Petamula after driving all day long, getting some rest before heading to Napa the next morning.


Diane in front of one of the smaller trees in the Avenue of the Giants

Driving along the Northern California Coast