We left San Francisco, and once again headed up the coast on Hwy 1. We'd made reservations at different places for the next 4 nights, in hopes of avoiding the "We need to find a place to park for the the night" conversation. The first place on the list; Gualala River Redwood Park.
The road there was just as beautiful as the previous leg of Hwy 1, with enough vistas and scenic winding roads to fill 5 years' worth of calendar pages. Along the way, we passed through quite a bit of farm country... this time, dairy farms. The organic dairy industry has a lot of farms up here, and you'll be glad to know the farms are as nice looking in person, as they are on the milk carton logo. It was nice to see cows roaming free in green hilly pasture. Every time we passed a herd, Cindy about jumped out of her seat grabbing for the camera, only to slump over in disappointment when her photo opportunity never appeared. She got out of the truck at one point, and walked all the way to a fence to snap a shot of some dairy cows, and wound up chasing after a lone rooster walking around by the road. (The perfect shot arrived quite unexpectedly later on down the road.) We also learned where marshmallows come from! I'm not sure why we were lied to all these years, but I was surprised to see a herd of large, healthy-looking adult marshmallows as we drove through dairy country.
The farther north we drive, the larger the landscape becomes. Trees becoming taller, and the roads now darker as they block out the sun... leaving us in a state of constant twilight. "Emerald" is the word that comes to mind up here, everything is green and lush... and ferns, so hard to maintain in the south, thrive everywhere. Cindy read somewhere that the "Return of the Jedi" was filmed here, (The planet "Endor" scenes) as well as "Rise of the Planet of the Apes". Even the water is pretty, with a translucent emerald hue at the Smith River crossing we stopped at, and a bluish color in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State park.