After saying goodbye to friends in Portland I started the official solo chick road trip portion. I was nervous and anxious and super excited. I had been all over the country, uprooted my life numerous times and relocated myself to opposite coasts from family and loved ones, but never completely alone. I was excited to see how I would do. I was excited to see what peace quality companionless time could bring someone. I was excited for what twists and turns and unknowns lied ahead. And I was excited to see if the stuff I was made of would cut it.

My first stop was to the Jebediah Smith Redwood State Park in California to drive through a cedar tree! This has always been on my bucket list since maybe the “Julia Butterfly Hill” episode of the Simpson’s where Lisa tries to save a tree by living in it.  Oddly enough the Simpsons are also the reason that I went to the La Brea Tar Pits. Ha! Which to be honest was totally underwhelming – but more on that later.

The cedars were beautiful, striking, breathtaking, and magnificent. One might say a breath of fresh air. Better smelling than any pine tree shaped air freshener I’d previously had the delight of sniffing. I had seen them before, but I had never driven down the 101 and really had the chance to admire them and spend the time exploring. The 101 meanders through the woods for miles, with turn-offs here and there for more advanced viewing. After driving through the redwood forests you are dropped off onto these gorgeous winding cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. It was mid afternoon when I came upon a vantage point overlooking a rocky outcrop. It proves hard not to believe in a higher power when faced with a view like that.

My drive through the “Valley of the Giants” definitely became memorable when I underestimated how wide my car and the horseshoe-shaped gap in which to drive through was, and ran old Hopi’s side mirror into the interior of the trunk. I can’t be the first person to have done that, but I can definitely check that off my bucket list with wooden scrapes to prove it!






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