Road trip pit stop at Big Basin Redwoods

Back in March, a very good friend moved back to the states from Italy. She had been gone for several years, but had kept a small storage unit of pieces that were too big to ship overseas, and too special to part with. She asked if we could empty out her unit and haul her stuff up to the Bay Area, where another friend would take it the rest of the way. Ummm, road trip?!? Heck ya!

I have to say that I am pretty lucky, Squishy is an amazing road trip sidekick.

Side note: It wasn’t always that way, though. When he was first-born we lived 30 minutes from everyone else in our world and he screamed the entire way. The entire way! So fun, right? It got better though. You learn tricks and maneuvers to get through the drive. I found a really great *mirror that attached to the backseat. He was very happy once he could see what was going on. We also got the *Noggle  (air conditioner extender, thing) which is a game changer! We still use it even though he is front facing now.

Squish loves to navigate, check the map, play car games, and listen to Sparkle Stories (that’s not an affiliate link, we just really love them). As we were planning our trip, I started to brainstorm how we could turn a six-hour drop off trip into an adventure.

We decided that we would get an early start and stop at Casa de Fruita for lunch and to ride the train. (*cough* read: get my favorite wine *cough*)
we love stopping at Casa De Fruita  anytime we head to northern California.  Their wine, cheese,  and snacks are delicious, but the amusements for kids cant be beat. I had never been to the Redwoods on the coast, and neither had my dad who was going with us. So, we figured; drive around a bit up above Santa Cruz, stop when we felt like getting a closer look.  Our thinking being, we would take the “scenic” route and delay ourselves enough to miss the traffic going through Hollister…ha ha.

Did you know it rains in California? I had no idea, and I’ve lived here my whole life. The sky decided to open up on the day of our trip, though, and this clear wet substance fell onto our windshield right as we were pulling up to our drop off location. I believe Squish asked what it was. Fortunately, Squishy is pretty water proof…His clothes not so much, but that is why I always pack extra. We decided to stick with the plan and take the drive. We stopped at The Big Basin Redwoods right outside Boulder Creek.

When we pulled up to the parking lot it was almost completely deserted. A couple of stragglers were racing back to the rental cabins, and some college kids were making a Big Foot movie. (Very D movie and hilarious)  As we stepped onto the puddled path, it was like being transported to an alternate universe. The hush of the forest encased us. we braved the rain, walking in yhe enchanted redwoods above Santa Cruz

These monument trees were so much like our own Sequoia’s, but with a thick blanket of moss and twisted exposed roots. The sheen from the rain made the moss sparkle like emeralds. Squishy was convinced that we were going to find the entrance to a Gnome mine.

squishy needed to examine every inch of these giant trees

I almost half believed he would find it,too, because we found several centurions guarding the forests secrets. I grew up running wild through the woods, but this was my first enchanted forest.

the trees have souls
exploring an enchanted forest
We didn’t get to stay long, just a quick stroll around the short trail. Long enough, though, for the magical song of this wood to touch us. You could feel the trees humming as their branches grew heavy with the misty rain.  The percussion of the river as it swelled up the banks was almost deafening us as we got closer.  Squish was mesmerized by the rushing water.

My favorite part of any adventure with Squish, is the freedom and confidence that starts to bounce off of his little body. He has such a keen sense of awareness and place as soon as his feet touch raw land. If there is such a thing as past lives, Squishy’s old soul was a tracker. His eyes seeing every detail, and noticing every nuance of the forest. He can always spot the tiniest of creatures roaming the forest floor. He found tons of these giant worms slithering across our path, where all I saw was a muddy trail.

as the rain came down, hundreds of giant earth worms made their way to the streams.
I look back on this adventure with so much awe and wonder. Even though we weren’t there more than a couple of hours at most. I’m glad we stopped to hike in the rain. I don’t know if the enchantment would have touched us quiet as much if the sun had been shining.

hiking in the rain

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