Well, Labor Day is fast coming to a close, so I thought I’d share pictures from my Labor Day weekend vacation with a good friend of mine. What started out as a multi-day camping trip along the Lost Coast of Northern California turned into a camping trip not only the Lost Coast, but Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and finally the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. I originally requested for a couple days off (Thursday and Friday) right before Labor Day, as I hadn’t taken much vacation during the summer. I was still in limbo as to what I was going to do. I had thought about doing a hike on Thursday, and going camping with my mom, uncle and his family up in Sierra City, which is in Sierra County. I was chatting with my friend, Bill Farrington one morning on Facebook about taking a couple extra days off during the Labor Day holiday, and figuring out what to do. Bill mentioned had mentioned he had never been to the Lost Coast and was curious to check it out. I mentioned I had heard of it, but had never been there. So Bill suggested we go there and camp along the coast, as he had all the necessary equipment for camping, all we would have to do his get food the night before. Bill and his dog, Annie came up Wednesday night, so we went grocery shopping for the trip. The original plan was to camp along the Lost Coast, which is along Humboldt and Mendocino counties. What happened was anything BUT the original plan……
Here’s Bill making the drive on up!
On U.S. Highway 101 heading north through the Redwoods
Making the exit for the towns of Rio Dell and Scotia. We made the exit here to get gas, but ended up taking a back road to Ferndale to get gas instead as the Shell station couldn’t take a credit card at the time. We later found out a crucial AT&T internet line had been accidentally cut, essentially cutting off the internet to people and businesses from Rio Dell/Scotia all the way up to Eureka. Both towns are good places to stay for those wanting to visit nearby Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
A peek-a-boo shot of the coast between Ferndale and Petrolia.
A shot of the Lost Coast!!
On the narrow, two-lane road to the Lost Coast!
Bill getting the camp set up. We were at the Mattole campground which is right along the Lost Coast. The campground is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. We were amongst other campers as well. The nearest town is Petrolia, a very small town in Humboldt County, which is truly “off the grid”, as there aren’t many people here and Internet and cell service is spotty to nearly non-existent!
Bill’s Land Rover which is totally equipped for camping!! We even had an outdoor shower!!
The waves of the Pacific Ocean crashing onshore!
Walking along the Lost Coast!
The beginning of sunset along the Lost Coast!
Annie walking along the beach at sunset
Beachgoers enjoying the sunset along the Lost Coast
Sunset at the Lost Coast!
A father and his two children enjoying the sunset!!
Morning time at the Mattole Campground at the Lost Coast!!
Time for some morning coffee to get the day going!
The beginnings of sunrise along the Lost Coast!
A sunrise walk!
Hikers off in the distance getting ready to do some Lost Coast hiking!
A brisk morning walk along the Lost Coast!
Bill taking a morning walk along the coast
Bill and Annie at the mouth of the Mattole River near the ocean.
Annie and I at the mouth of the Mattole River.
Annie enjoying her morning stroll along the Lost Coast!
Unfortunately we only spent one night at the Lost Coast as it was EXTREMELY windy there!! The wind even howled overnight while we slept, as we could hear the tent shake most of the night. We decided to move on to Humboldt Redwoods State Park to see if we could spend a couple nights there. We took the Mattole Road past Petrolia through Honeydew and finally into the park. It was my second time at the park, as I had been there a couple autumns earlier with my friend, Don. We arrived at one of the campgrounds within the park, and managed to snag a space just overnight as it was reserved the next two days. It was also the first time I had to do a pay-per-minute shower at the park!!
A picture of the Mattole River inland.
Another picture of the Mattole River taken between Petrolia and Honeydew.
Mattole Road. During the drive to and from the Lost Coast between Rio Dell/Scotia and Humboldt Redwoods State Park, there are many parts of the road that are dirt and one lane only!! I don’t recommend anyone towing trailers traverse these roads. They are very narrow with hairpin curves, steep grades and one-lane sections!!
On our way to the park.
The buck right outside our campsite in a grove of apple trees.
As it was at the Lost Coast, we spent one night at the state park, not because of the high winds, but because our reservation was only for one night only and the campsite we were at was booked for the rest of the weekend. So we moved further inland, where we ended up in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, all the way in Trinity County. It was my first time in that forest, as well as my first time in Trinity County. We also had to get through another forest to get to Shasta-Trinity: the Six Rivers National Forest, which sits in Humboldt County. Bill was looking for a place to camp along the river and after almost striking out on finding a place, we found a hidden gem along the river in Shasta-Trinity. It apparently was a spot where Bill had camped with his family years earlier when he was a child. So of course, he was quite happy and ecstatic about it!!
Taking the exit for State Highway 299 and national forests!!
The Trinity River along State Highway 299.
We found our final camping spot!!
The fast-rushing Trinity River near our campsite.
Bill chatting with a couple of fishermen at our new campsite!
Bill preparing dinner along the river!
Bill took a picture of me walking along the river
He caught me looking at the camera!!
Walking and pondering!
Dinner is almost ready!
Annie relaxing at camp!
Bill’s oven…..almost time to bake dessert!!
Bill baked brownies for dessert!
A honeybee milling about.
Bill and Annie relaxing by the campsite.
Another picture of me when I wasn’t looking!
All in all, it was a fun and adventurous Labor Day weekend!! I definitely had a nice time on this trip. It was definitely a first for me in a long time, as I hadn’t camped for years!! If you’re looking for a place to unplug and get away from the real world for a while, the Lost Coast is definitely the place for it, as you can be miles from the nearest town and cellular service. I would definitely do it again if given the chance. And the Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers National Forests are beautiful forests here in California to explore!