The Ultimate Road Trip: THE SILVER SNAIL : A solo woman's full-time RV adventure
THE ULTIMATE AMERICAN ROAD TRIP
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Brookings, OR

I was excited to get back to Brookings for Christmas, and when I left Palm Springs, it was snowing up here. Driving through the redwoods covered with freshly-fallen snow was so beautiful....but by the time I got to Brookings, it had all melted. (sigh) I had hoped to get here in time to throw snowballs at Riley and hoped we might have a white Christmas.

So I'd been living and traveling in my little trailer for just about a year, and not only did I want to spend the holidays here, I was ready to stay for awhile. But because it was the rainy winter season, I wanted to find a house or apartment to rent for a month or two where Riley, Peyote and I could all stretch out and enjoy some SPACE during those long periods of incessant rain. So as soon as I landed, I hit Craigslist and the local classifieds. I found the perfect place just a few days before Christmas: it has a panoramic view of the river, mountains, ocean and harbor; a family of mule deer visits regularly; a steady stream of hummingbirds enjoy the feeders I've put in the window; and the seals frequently frolick and fish in the Chetco. Not only that, but I've got a dishwasher, washer and dryer, garage, driveway (for the trailer), garbage disposal, and a FIREPLACE! It's a nice change.

 

WINTER: 78 DEGREES AND SUNNY!
January 10-23...and counting...I guess it's true what they say about Brookings being in the "Banana Belt". It's supposed to get much less rain than the rest of the Pacific Northwest, but I didn't expect this! What a treat.

 

THE NAUTICAL INN
I've been holding a grudge against Brookings because there isn't a place to have a nice dinner and/or a drink, meet up with friends and be able to look out and enjoy the ocean view. Well, there IS! It's actually in nearby Smith River, California, and the Nautical Inn has excellent food as well as a wonderfully cozy lounge that feels like a lodge, with a baby grand piano, wood stove and, since it's right on the water, a beautiful view. They even light up the surf at night. A place not to miss.

 

REDWOODS
It's Redwood country around here. Redwood National and State parks make up a large part of northern California, and the state border is a mere seven miles away. These trees are old, majestic and tall, towering so high into the sky, it's hard to crane your neck to see the tops. The nice thing about that is you rarely have the sun in your eyes when walking a trail. The bad part about that is that the sun hardly comes through, so everything stays damp and cool.

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All images and words © Sharon Pieniak
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