A few rocks to climb , big and small
Fellow wandering souls, to meet and greet
Swap a few tales, old and new
Smell the mountain air, feel the salt in your hair
All that happens here, while someone pipes in from behind
“Are we there yet !!”
Now that is a family road trip for you !!!
Recently our family got back from a summer road trip. We were all bone tired, ready to crawl into our beds and forget all about adventures, bug bites and achy feet. But then we wake up and start talking about the next road trip! If someone asks my kids about their favorite road trip, the answer would always be “last summer’s”. I am not sure whether it is because their memory is short or because we are getting better at planning and organizing , but summer has come to symbolize sun , sand and achy feet.
Of course, there is nothing romantic about being on the road with kids. It gets trickier when your destinations don’t have wi-fi and the modern distractions. Fellow parents have vastly different take on it – some look at the whole experience with horror while some others frown and wonder why anyone would do it when nearby theme parks are aplenty.
Why do it ? Well it is fun, exciting, challenging and most of all offers a fresh prospective on the familiar. Have I ever felt excited about the cables on the Golden Gate Bridge vibrating as the cars pass by ? Of course not , that is until I and my son felt it together. I had been on that bridge a few times, but this time was special.
There is always something fun and new about these trips, whether it takes you 50 miles or 5000 miles away from home. Every trip is memorable and there are always some gems to find along the way. This year we decided to explore our home state a bit more and do that long overdue trip to the northern parts of the state. We just did not realize what treats were in store for us !
Everyone knows about the popular California destinations – Yosemite , Disney Land, Hollywood and so on. Needless to say all these places are packed with tourists in summer. But after a few hectic weeks of summer we wanted this trip to be about winding down. We wanted the to explore the out of the way, not so popular gems. We knew about them, had passed them by on earlier occasions, never really pausing to explore.
Just to be clear, for us winding down means climbing a few rocks, being on seemingly endless roads as well as starry skies and rhythm of the ocean. You will find some or all of of these in all these places below. Definitely give these these a go if any of these are in your bucket list.
- Climb an extinct Volcano – Cinder Cone at Lassen National Park There are all kinds of volcanoes that yo can climb at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Don’t panic none of these are active. Of these Cinder Cone is unique and well worth the experience. Here you climb a steep volcanic to reach the top and then go down the crater in the center. This is a challenging climb, but this is not all that Lassen has to offer, there is snow , clear lakes , stargazing and hot earth !!
- Go caving – Lava bedsSo you went up the volcano , what next ? Go down to the underground cave system, of course !! This is one place you could get lost, literally. The caves are dark , damp and full of sharp surfaces . Have flashlights, good footwear, and be ready to bend down and crawl. Most importantly be ready for darkness and have your wits about you ..
- History Lessons and Some Petroglyphs – Lava Beds
The ancients have their own ways of recording and communicating tings. But how ancient? There seems to be some confusion about the age of these rock art. At Petroglyph point this small hill side is full of rock carvings. Look around and you might find some symbols that you can relate to. There is history and stories here.
- Go where Sand and Surf Meets Some Very Nice People – Oregon Dunes
I know , this is not in CA, but it is just just across the border :-). Yes there are sand dunes in CA , but can you imagine midday dune buggy rides in summer ? Well here you can – sand surf and absolutely wonderful weather !!!
- Get Away From It All – Point Arena
This is the place to fall in love with, or to tie the knot at. Waves crashing on the sides of this narrow peninsula is the perfect backdrop for you to get away from it all. The nature’s music invites you to shed your worries, and be in the moment – do you thing here – be it yoga, hiking, catching up on the reading …
To summer , road trips and time spent with family !!!!