Fortuna, CA

September 16-23, 2016
Fortuna, California

After a couple of weeks of moving the trailer frequently and camping in more remote locations, a full week in a private RV Campground in Fortuna with full amenities and access to a medium-sized town was a welcomed change of pace for all of us. We caught up on laundry, Apt Design work, road schooling, showers, and rest.  There was a video rental store near our campground (did you know those still exist in 2016?!), and even though the clerk suggested that I go to a nearby Red Box instead, I went to the trouble of setting up an account so that we could enjoy renting some older movies that we love.  Our campground even had a heated (debatable) pool and a hot tub which the girls thoroughly enjoyed.  They made friends with a girl who lives at the park full time, so it quickly felt like being in a neighborhood.

Getting some “FaceTime” with Grandma & showing off Jr. Ranger badges & patches.
Haircuts by Dad.
Coral is often my little helper.

We had one day that we did no work or school – just did some small maintenance jobs around the “house”, rode bikes, went swimming, went out for coffee…it was really restful and nice.  After days and days of feeling like we had to be “on” to experience the amazing places we were visiting, it was a relief to have some days with very little pressure to suck the marrow out of every moment.

Upon a local’s recommendation, we drove north to Aracata on Saturday morning to check out the popular farmers market.  We hadn’t realized that it was the weekend of the annual North County Fair, so we were unexpectedly in the middle of a big fun fair with a lovely and fun parade celebrating the start of the autumn season of harvest, food and craft booths, and performances.

Dancers like butterflies…
Crown-making at the North County Fair in Aracta.
North County Fair parade
beautiful dancing to the beat of the seasons changing

Fortuna is about 20 miles north of the entrance to the Avenue of the Giants, so we spent one whole day and part of a second day exploring that area.

I cannot capture the beauty of this place with my camera.
Avenue of the Giants…
For full effect, you have to listen to “Fly to New York” by Above & Beyond while you look at these photos. The lyrics are about the wrong coast, but the mood is perfect & it’s what I’m listening to as I prepare these images….
Sunny has become quite the serious photographer.
Walking among the trees, on the trees.


Eternal Tree House attraction
Inside the “Eternal Tree House”
Inside the Tree House
little explorer of large things
our tour guide
I tried & tried but couldn’t capture the shafts of light streaming through these mammoth trees. You really need to go see it for yourself. These trees have been waiting for you for 800 years….go!
Many healthy trees have been hollowed out by fire decades ago, making excellent places to hide & explore.
Another hollow tree from fire – still growing hundreds of feet into the air.
Hollow at the bottom? NBD. I’ll just keep being one of the tallest trees you’ve ever seen…
We keep her around for comic relief, mostly.
remember this, girls….
massive roots exposed on what are now “nursery trees”, growing the next generation
This is the Dyerville Giant – it was the largest tree until it fell in 1991. Must have been a bad storm because many trees in this area fell that spring. Coral didn’t get the “smiling one” memo.
Red Wood
Sunny trying to capture a good shot of “Giant Tree”.
but where else would there be to go?


On another day we drove north to the city of Eureka.  Brad enjoyed a coffee shop and got some work done.  The girls and I enjoyed the Children’s Discovery Museum.  We entered moments after they opened the doors and stayed until they kicked us out…

Rope Challenge
“….*…” *story unintelligible
electricity bike
a museum employee asked Sunny why she wasn’t at school and she replied, “This IS school!”
No one ever tires of playing grocery store! Right, Mom?…..6 hrs later
pigeons in downtown Eureka

When we pulled out of the campground 7 days after our arrival, I was struck by how quickly a place had started to feel familiar after the previous month of constant change.  I knew where the closest coffee and grocery stores were, it was easy to sit in the campground laundromat and read my new book, and the girls had a friend to play with outside each evening.  I was a little sad to say goodbye to the crowded, overpriced home we had enjoyed for a week!

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