|We left Petaluma on this beautiful Saturday morning, having first made a quick trip to Safeway for a few last minute items and then saying "goodbye" to friends, Al and Joan, who we meet up with periodically. We are now on no time schedule and in no hurry (at least not until Christina's birthday) - we may drive 300 miles or merely 50. We will not complain about the coastal weather should it turn foggy or cold but bask in the beauty and for now it is all clear skies and comfortably warm - Smooth Sailing!
The drive north on Highway 101 reacquaints us with charming small towns, acres of healthy vineyards and those incredible coastal redwoods, thus The Redwood Highway. We pass the Lady Bird Johnson Grove and quietly say thanks for all the beauty she brought to our country. We meet up with the Pacific near the town of Eureka where we had planned to stay this first night at the Elk's Lodge. It was still early so we decided to drive another 50 miles to a Passport America park, Stone Lagoon, that is known for its Little Red School House museum and an impressive herd of Roosevelt elk.
After parking and getting set up we decided to go for a walk around the park and check out the Little Red School House. I thought I recognized a man standing up ahead of us and as we got closer realized it was one of our very best friends, Don Coats. He and wife Joan, whom I worked with throughout the 80's, recently purchased a new 5th wheel trailer. We spoke to them several weeks ago when they were planning their summer trip to Oregon and lo and behold, here they are. Joan is in the little museum and I walk in and wait until she sees me and, of course, she screams and can't believe we're here. I think we were in Utah the last time we spoke.
We all go back and admire their new RV and then set out to do some beach combing before the sun goes down. As we walk along admiring the massive rocks jutting out of the sand and water we notice all the people are lying down on their stomachs frantically digging in the sand. Joan, an avid collector of pretty rocks, tells us this is an agate beach and all these folks are looking for treasures. Sure enough many come over to show us their finds! Don had done a lot of fishing coming down the Oregon coast and loads us up with fresh Ling Cod before we say "goodnight".