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Two People, Two dogs and a Trusty Truck

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007


After spending a hectic week back in Newport Beach, crashing at Christy’s uncle Sam and aunt Lori’s house, we regrouped for the 2nd leg of our travels-touring the Pacific Northwest with our dogs Harley and Scout for five weeks. We had a very “loose” itinerary to say the least (mostly just which states to visit) and no reservations;  two things Christy is not comfortable with not having.  I told her my usual “Dont worry about it, it’ll all work out” and amazingly, so far it has!  I’m not sure, but I think Christy is almost on board with the “no plans are the best plans for traveling.” 

Our first planned stopped was the Trinity Alps (Shasta Trinity Alps Wilderness) in Northern California, so we spend the majority of the day in the car just getting to Redding!  California traffic never ceases to dissapoint.  After spending the night at a lovely Motel 6, we departed early the next morning for the Trinity Alps.  With our backpacks loaded down with the essentials, the McCrosky clan hiked about six miles into the beautiful, remote wilderness.  We set up camp for a three day/two night stay beside a crystal clear creek.  Our original plan was to camp for three nights, but after two days of hiking, poor Harley’s paws were so raw that he was having a hard time walking.  So, we continued our drive north, stopping for two nights of camping amoung the giant Redwoods near the Redwood National Park.  Those trees were massive!  We were still able to hike in some fairly remote areas of the park and get some really great pictures.  After touring the Redwoods, we crossed the California/Oregon border and drove up the coast, visiting some of the beautiful beaches along the way.  For the next couple of days we camped in southern Oregon near the Umpqua River.  Steve fished for small mouth bass while the dogs enjoyed some swimming.  Southern Oregon is so green and beautiful and there are several hiking trails that lead to waterfalls.  The area reminded Christy a lot of West Virginia so she was feeling right at home.  

Oregon is known for 2 things, beautiful country and lots of rain, and it hasn’t disapointed on either one. We’ve seen some scenery that takes your breath away and also spent a few nights in the tent with rain pouring down outside. West Virginia girls are as tough as nails beacause not many girls could handle camping in the rain for 3 days, and even have fun while doing it.

One thing Christy and I didn’t know about Oregon was the amount of wine produced here!  We spent 2 days driving the Willamette Valley touring different wineries, having a blast.  Oregon’s wine country is “what Napa used to be” and we now believe it. Absolutely beautiful country side scattered with quaint, family owned wineries.  We realized how small this area actually is when we visited our first winery, the owners of the vineyard were the ones pouring us the wine! They told us all about the region and we talked to them about how they ended up in Oregon owning a winery.  Our absolute favorite winery however was a small operation called Reustle.  This winery was unlike any other that we have ever been to.  We sipped delicious wine while munching on appetizers prepared by our host…best of all, it was free!

So, now we are here in Portland for a few days checking out the big city and taking a break from camping.  Tomorrow we head off to a small little cabin we reserved on a farm in Bend, Oregon. The Farm is a cattle farm so Christy is going to feel right at home!

In Search of the Perfect Wave

Monday, July 9th, 2007

Catavina campsitethe endless dirt roadThe campfireSteve on the rockScorpion Bay - The perfect waveSnorkling Cabo Pulmo


With all of our family and friends gone and the wedding weekend officially over, we began our journey back north to California. Our goal for this leg of the trip was to get some good surf and Scorpion Bay (a.k.a. Punta Pequena) was the place to do it. The only downside-there would be a lot of dirt road driving to get there, 130 miles of dirt roads to be exact! We started our first day off by heading to an area known as the East Cape.  We made a quick stop at a popular surf spot called Nine Palms and then continued on to Cabo Pulmo for some great snorkling (Cabo Pulmo is the most northern coral reef in the eastern pacific).  That night we set up camp at Las Barriles, a small town where the East Cape road ends and Mex 1 begins.  Fortunately for us, there was only one other guy in the whole campsite.  He came rushing over and said “You’re the first set of campers I’ve talked to in 3 weeks!”  Christy and I realized then that we were pretty far off the beaten path.

Ask any surf enthusiast and they tell you that Scorpion Bay is known as being one of the best point breaks in all of Mexico, and it sure didn’t disappoint when arrived Sunday evening.  I could go on and on about what an amazing wave it was, but I know it will just bore you non-surfers to tears.  In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words so check out the one we’ve posted.  Even christy got in on the action, catching the longest waves of her very short surfing life.  After 3 days of non-stop surfing it was time to face the dreaded 100 mile-long dirt road to get back to the main highway.  Ever heard of “BFE?”  Well, Christy and I found it-just follow the 100 mile dirt road to nowhere!  For about 4 and 1/2 hours of driving on this bumpy, washed-out, sandy, winding 100 mile “road”, we didn’t pass a single town or see one other person.  Just miles and miles of rolling hills and mountains, and a dirt road that in some areas had no right to be called a “road” at all.  We both breathed a sigh of relief when we reached the quaint town of San Ignacio where dirt turned to pavement. 

Our final stop in Baja would be Catavina, which is like the Joshua Tree of the Baja.  Huge boulders, cactus and the famous “boojum trees” make up this area.  One of our guidebooks mentioned areas just north of Catavina where one could enjoy free quiet camping amoung the giant size boulders and cactus.  Once out of the town we turned off the main highway onto a dirt road that lead us past huge boulders and into the dessert.  Of course when it sounds to good to be true, it usually is, but in this case, we were NOT disapointed!  We found a remote spot to park the truck and had the whole desert all to ourselves.  We climbed big boulders, hiked among the cactus and had a nice big campfire, celebrating the 4th of July tranquilo style.