Exploring Crescent City, California

It was mid October and Tanja and I had barely finished the wedding season when the ‘big fatigue’ hit me. I knew it would come, because it does so every year. The unofficial end of peak work season has become synonymous with ‘time to recover’. Six months of working 6 to 7 days a week tends to do that you. And just in case I’m sounding negative, I’m not, I actually love it! Being able to give everything to my work is the best feeling in the world. But I digress.

Unlike last years, we’d prepared ourselves: a weeklong vacation in a lovely little AirBnb (called ‘Rlyn’s Place‘) in Crescent City, a tiny town on California’s gorgeous Northern Coast. Best of all, we’d share the trip with our dear Belgian friend Eve.

Since we only had a week to spend, Tanja and I decided to drive the entire stretch in one day. Saturday morning, 5 am, we hit the road and arrived a good 14 hours later.

In the first few days, we explored Crescent City’s beautiful beaches and scouted out the sea lions we’d heard when walking along the coastlines. It turned out the smart bastards were lying right in the middle of the harbor, probably waiting to feast on the leftovers of returning fishing boats.

During those days, I felt tired and numb. Which told me to do as little as possible. And I did exactly that. During daytime, I enjoyed the gentle rushing of the ocean and faint whine of the fog horn. And at night, the three of us shared wonderful, deep conversations about life over delicious Mexican takeout and wine.

A few days later, the sunny weather had changed into clouds and rain. We left the beaches and went to explore the amazing old-growth forests of Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park. I loved the walking along the trails between giant ancient redwoods. It’s a unique feeling that makes me genuinely love the West coast. Not to mention, the soothing effect of nature on an anxious mind. We finished the night with what had meanwhile become a ritual: talks over takeout and wonderfully affordable wine. It still hurts how much cheaper alcohol is in California, or rather, how expensive it is in BC :).

In the days after our visit to the forest, the weather continued to deteriorate. So we drove South along the stunning Highway 101, did a quick stop at a pasture full of elk and spent a day in the city of Arcata. All of us loved the laid-back vibe of the hippie-esque town, and we sheltered from the rain by drinking coffee, shopping for clothes and browsing esoteric bookstores. Another wonderful day of hardly doing anything.

On our last day in Crescent City, a big tropical storm had arrived. The gentle ocean had transformed into a roaring thunder, with 10-feet high waves that crashed brutally on the beaches where we’d lounged just days before. And yet, there was something magical about it. It drew us in. Better than watching tv. So the three of us stood on the cliffs experiencing nature’s raw power until we were chilled to the bone. And I loved every part of it.

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