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Places to See on the American West Coast


Hartamophone
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Greetings.

With school now behind me forever (woo hoo!) my girlfriend and I are leaving town and road tripping to celebrate. We're leaving Victoria tomorrow with all our worldlies in the back of the car (and our bikes on the roof!) and heading south into Olympic National Park and points south.

Does anybody have any recommendations for must-see places along the coast or even inland? We'll be camping our way down and are up for anything. We figure eventually we'll turn around and come back north and possibly spend the summer and beyond in Portland. Really though, there are no plans whatsoever and we're pretty pumped for that fact alone.

Any recommendations greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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i like the oregon coast. there are big dunes out there and we rented a dunebuggy, it was fun.

also crater lake! it's gorgeous.

if you are going as far as CA, the obvious answer is drive n camp down the coast...fyi, there can be mountain lions (not if you are on the beach but in the hills above they do come down)

you gonna see phish at the gorge?

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Yeah, the Redwoods are high on the list. Sarah has always wanted to see them, so we're really looking forward to it.

And Phorbesie, while we've never met I hoped you would have some input here. Crater Lake is something we've heard good things about, so we'll make that a stop. And we're definitely heading into CA, though probably not any farther down than SF.

Phish at the Gorge is something we're pumped for and is the one plan we've made. Will we see you and/or Velvet there? We have Shoreline tickets as well, but might get rid of those.

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Yeah, the Redwoods are high on the list. Sarah has always wanted to see them, so we're really looking forward to it.

And Phorbesie, while we've never met I hoped you would have some input here. Crater Lake is something we've heard good things about, so we'll make that a stop. And we're definitely heading into CA, though probably not any farther down than SF.

Phish at the Gorge is something we're pumped for and is the one plan we've made. Will we see you and/or Velvet there? We have Shoreline tickets as well, but might get rid of those.

cool! i'll be at the gorge with my best friend (who lives in portland, so i'll be there pre/post gorge) but unfortunately no Velvet. i'm going to shoreline too...if you go maybe i'll hit you up for a ride back up :D

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Yeah' date=' the Redwoods are high on the list. Sarah has always wanted to see them, so we're really looking forward to it.

And Phorbesie, while we've never met I hoped you would have some input here. Crater Lake is something we've heard good things about, so we'll make that a stop. And we're definitely heading into CA, though probably not any farther down than SF.

Phish at the Gorge is something we're pumped for and is the one plan we've made. Will we see you and/or Velvet there? We have Shoreline tickets as well, but might get rid of those.[/quote']

cool! i'll be at the gorge with my best friend (who lives in portland, so i'll be there pre/post gorge) but unfortunately no Velvet. i'm going to shoreline too...if you go maybe i'll hit you up for a ride back up :D

If we're living somewhere before then and go to both shows, you're in. That said, I've just been downstairs packing the car. If it looks in August like it does now, I hope you like roof racks. ;)

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And we're definitely heading into CA, though probably not any farther down than SF.

Go just a *bit* further and hit up Big Sur, Pebble Beach and Monterey!

It's all lovely.

Definately agree, stop into Applejack's in La Honda and ask about Neil Young, fun things should prevail... don't go to the blue lagoon in Santa Cruz (dosing and oven urination reference), go to Moe's alley though. Smoke a J on number 7 at pebble beach, nothing like it...

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I've been following some VW folks travel journals and this is what they wrote today:

Day 13 April 27, 2009 Mileage 47,623 Santa Cruz, CA

"Woke to a lovely sunny California but was really chilly. We left the KOA about 8am to hit the road couldn’t wait to do the coastal drive along Hwy 1. We decided to stop into a small place called Moss Landing for breakfast and felt like we where driving into a Mexican village. It was so beautiful every building which was small had beautiful arch way and inviting colors. We stop at the Haute Enchilada for breakfast which was a feast no need for lunch after that. So on to our journey, if you have never driven down Hwy 1 believe me you are missing out"

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Just south of Carmel is a place called Point Lobos State reserve- it's one of the best places I've been on the west coast! If you scuba dive, it's some of the best in the world, there's a kelp forest right off the shore where you can dive with sea otters, seals, and sharks. Also, check out Natural Bridges park in Santa Cruz, try to go when the tide's out, you'll be able to walk the coast a lot farther than at high tide, plus the tide pools formed at low tide are amazing- like little aquarirums filled with anenomes, starfish, fish, etc. Also, there's great place to go sea kayaking near monterrey, but i can't remember the name of it for the life of me. That was a lot of fun, the seals and sea otters would come up right to the kayak!

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Also, there's great place to go sea kayaking near monterrey, but i can't remember the name of it for the life of me.

I don't know if it's Moss Landing you're thinking of, but Moss Landing is AWESOME for sea kayaking... up through the Elkhorn Slough.

Elkhorn Slough

It's just south of Santa Cruz on Hwy 1, about halfway in between Santa Cruz and Monterey.

If you do actually make it to Monterey, go check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It's one of the best in the US, and has the most amazingly mind-blowing jelly fish displays you could ever zone out on.

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I did a 3 month motorcycle camping tour of the Southwest & West Coast US. The California highlights for me were sleeping under a blanket of stars (no tent) in the Alabama Hills on the east side of the Sierra Nevadas and waking up to Mt Whitney (the highest peak in the contiguous US) glowing in the morning sun. Meditating under the giant 2000 year old red woods of the Sequoia National Park, beautiful scenery of Lassen Volcanic National Park, and riding the twisty roads throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains especially near Yosemite National Park.

The highway that runs along the northern shore of the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington had spectacular views and I never knew so much of the eastern half of Washington was so desert like.

I really liked the mountains in Idaho although the camping and mornings on the bike at that altitude were pretty cold. It certainly wasn't the flat potato-filled boring state I was imagining. The area around the Montana/Wyoming boarder near Yellowstone National Park was incredibly beautiful and I hope to return there to do some more wandering on my way to my annual desert tour of southern Utah. Gotta love that Roadrunner cartoon scenery!

The awesome thing that I found out about camping in the States is that it’s FREE to camp anywhere in any of their National Forests. The bonus is that there’s never any 50’ RVs running it’s generator keeping you awake all night.

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The awesome thing that I found out about camping in the States is that it’s FREE to camp anywhere in any of their National Forests. The bonus is that there’s never any 50’ RVs running it’s generator keeping you awake all night.

Really? That's great to know. How does it work? Are there sites or do you simply find a spot to set up camp?

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The awesome thing that I found out about camping in the States is that it’s FREE to camp anywhere in any of their National Forests. The bonus is that there’s never any 50’ RVs running it’s generator keeping you awake all night.

Really? That's great to know. How does it work? Are there sites or do you simply find a spot to set up camp?

As long as you camp 50'(i think) off of the road and, of course, remember the campsite rule, it's all free. I often stopped into the National Forest Offices and asked for recommendations for the most beautful and the quietest sites. They were always really helpful and friendly. It's soooo much better than paying lots of money to be packed into treeless sites of private campgrounds. I also found that instead of paying big $ for a site in a National Park, I could find a much more beautiful free site at a nearby National Forest.

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I did a 3 month motorcycle camping tour of the Southwest & West Coast US. The California highlights for me were sleeping under a blanket of stars (no tent) in the Alabama Hills on the east side of the Sierra Nevadas and waking up to Mt Whitney (the highest peak in the contiguous US) glowing in the morning sun. Meditating under the giant 2000 year old red woods of the Sequoia National Park, beautiful scenery of Lassen Volcanic National Park, and riding the twisty roads throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains especially near Yosemite National Park.

The highway that runs along the northern shore of the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington had spectacular views and I never knew so much of the eastern half of Washington was so desert like.

I really liked the mountains in Idaho although the camping and mornings on the bike at that altitude were pretty cold. It certainly wasn't the flat potato-filled boring state I was imagining. The area around the Montana/Wyoming boarder near Yellowstone National Park was incredibly beautiful and I hope to return there to do some more wandering on my way to my annual desert tour of southern Utah. Gotta love that Roadrunner cartoon scenery!

The awesome thing that I found out about camping in the States is that it’s FREE to camp anywhere in any of their National Forests. The bonus is that there’s never any 50’ RVs running it’s generator keeping you awake all night.

are you taking another bike tour this year? if you are, you should come thru CO for a visit!!!

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The awesome thing that I found out about camping in the States is that it’s FREE to camp anywhere in any of their National Forests. The bonus is that there’s never any 50’ RVs running it’s generator keeping you awake all night.

Really? That's great to know. How does it work? Are there sites or do you simply find a spot to set up camp?

As long as you camp 50'(i think) off of the road and' date=' of course, remember the campsite rule, it's all free. I often stopped into the National Forest Offices and asked for recommendations for the most beautful and the quietest sites. They were always really helpful and friendly. It's soooo much better than paying lots of money to be packed into treeless sites of private campgrounds. I also found that instead of paying big $ for a site in a National Park, I could find a much more beautiful free site at a nearby National Forest.

[/quote']

My friend, you just made my day. Thank you! Paying to camp night after night definitely adds up, so I think we'll aim for the national forests. We just looked at the atlas and saw that there are a ton of them in the general direction we are traveling. We'll stay at the odd National Park as well, but national forests are the new game plan.

And I agree, private campgrounds are generally quite lame if you're looking for any kind of wilderness experience.

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