San Francisco to Oregon

Part 3 of our trip from Las Vegas to Seattle via Los Angeles and the Pacific Coast Highway 1

We travel from San Francsico to Tillucum Beach Oregon in this section of our story.

This is it, this is Highway 1 we are following.  It goes all the wway from South California up into Washington State. Having left San Francisco we kept true and stayed on Highway one as it turned off the newer faster road. This section turned out to be incredible twisty with so many bends we did not seem to be getting anywhere!

As you can see from the sign we were heading North whereas most blogs you read people travel South. It is better to go South as you will then be on the Pacific Ocean side of the road  and easier to use the pull offs. some of which are too dangerous to cross over to going North.

Just north of San Francisco is the Point Reyes National Seashore which we thought would be great to visit. Nope the road was really really bad and they hate RV’s. Nowhere to park and get the bike off as we had hoped either. It took about an hour and a half to go each way due to the road state and oh yes the hundreds of bicycles.

There is no RV camping as well.

Next stop was the Avenue of Giants which is a road pararrel to the 101 in the Humbolt Forest. Beautiful place and it would have been lovely to stay longer but only allowed in expensive sites. Again difficult to park and even the visitor centre had no RV parking.


Flat Eric tree hugging with help as he could not reach all the way around. One of the trees we paced out was 20 large Alan  strides around it’s base

Section through a tree and it was dated 619 AD with the first marker shown as when the Vikings first discovered America and the last on the right 1928 when the California Parks system was started.

Feeling really shattered after 7 days of driving and over 1000 miles. Stop in Big Lagoon County Park Humboldt County California for 3 nights and the cheapest we have found at $23 a night having had a $2 senior discount. Obviously California seniors must be rich as other states have big discounts for their locals

This park says 25ft maximum but plenty of room for 30 ft!



Quosotomo forest campsite where we stayed next to a central meadow with a big Oregon Myrtle tree for shade. We saw elk and also some deer each day in the afternoon and evening. Hmm they were also on the main road when driving Rowdy during the morning!


We had at first gone to another forest site which was not very good and had raised prices up 33% since last year and still advertised in April this year. All sites seem to have gone up 25 – 33% – is this because of the lack of funding from congress that has been going on? So many sites shut until mid May as well. As one American we talked to said they are only going to open when they are fully booked and have a “cash cow” It makes it very difficult as there is so little dispersed camping.

Whilst our site was next to the meadow, most of them were under trees (no solar) and also close to the Rogue river. The river is very big and there are lots of stone bars (beaches) for people to launch boats and fish. Even a boat ramp were we were. Colleen enjoyed sitting under the Myrtle tree reading – and sleeping!

We were about 13 miles inland from Golden Beach and out of the cold wind.

We used Rowdy a lot to get around here in 4 days. This is a picture of Alan standing under the biggest Myrtle tree in Oregon not too far away.

We have also been looking around in the forest on Rowdy for dispersed camping and can not find any. In this forest  the Siskiyou .You have to be 200 ft away from the main road or forest road. Normally you have to be within 150 ft the complete opposite.

This walk was really great. At the forest road start they warned of a very steep hill and showed a drawing of a car at an acute angle. Interesting on Rowdy, particularly coming back down as the bike is an automatic and you cannot drop down gears.

California Redwood seen during the above walk.

Forest floor.

Crossing a bridge just after our  rest on a bench in the forest watching the waterfall.

More forest floor. The redwood makes it very red against the green.

After a hard days walking, relaxing … !

Now this looks like a great free dispersed camp site in the forest we found having driven over 200 miles and it was late. Alan had found it on the forestry area map for Reedsport a lot of dispersed camping place in the Siuslaw National Forest. But we got there late and did not have time to check it out first on Rowdy first so off he went up the forest road the width of Footloose our RV. You had to go 1/2 miles before you got past the private land.

Next day this photo is on the way back. Apart from the big mozzies we had last night, there were a few other things to consider.

Now you can see what happened, can’t you from the photo. Coming up last night we had to get past this fallen tree which still had its root in the bank much higher up. There had been nowhere to turn before this and to get past we went tight into the bank having moved some of the slide (landside to us Europeans) and although we had put small rocks in the ground to grip the wheels on the back end had gone sideways a bit and wheels spinning in the mud. Got through we thought and stopped where the above photo is. Later, when checking on Rowdy though, found that there was another tree around the next bend. If you look at the left on the photo you will see we used our stepladder to prop up the tree a bit higher to get back down past again! Clearance absolute minimal.

Colleen ended up walking down a lot of the way holding back branches etc. The night before we had moved large boulders with difficulty from slides and cut back many branches as well.

Possibly an adventure that Colleen wants to forget 🙂

A nice day today. We went to the Sea Lions cave that was discovered in 1880. You go down a lift that is 120 stories (building floors). Difficult to photo as so far away and they keep moving when the lenses is on a long exposure. There was also an outside area you could see them down on the rocks and coming in and out of the water.

Thors Well, Orgeon. There are dramatic photos of this on the internet but you require high tides and stormy weather. The water comes over the rocks and down the hole where the people are standing. Also in this area there are blow holes as we know them which the Americans call water spouts at high tide with rough surging water.

People are quite surprised when we tell them that a lot of the coastline is similar to the UK waters.


As it should be.

Tillicum Beach This is the sand blowing along it and we have a great video of it. We stayed at the campsite there for 4 nights. We now know having travelled up the coast why most sites are not actually on the beach but on the land side of the main highway and amongst trees. Wind protection!

Birthday boy beach outing.

Colleen found this birthday cake for Alan. (All children should be hyperactive on their birthday. )

If you look carefully the tree branch should have been growing to the left. The wind thought otherwise over the years.

Birthday drink.

Our site at Tillicum Beach. It was nearly full at the weekend when we arrived on a Saturday, but we did our usual pay for 1 night and then look the next day for a better spot. Being Sunday lots went. We did have a fairly good sight the first night turning up early but this was better. Looking straight out from the cab into the sea.

Sunset at Tillicum Beach

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